Republican Utah Rep.-elect John Curtis will be sworn in on Monday after winning his special election last week to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Curtis says he’ll be casting his first vote today, which he told the Salt Lake Tribune was “a little surreal.”
Curtis won his race on Tuesday to represent Utah’s 3rd District after Chaffetz announced his retirement in June.
Since Curtis is a Republican like Chaffetz, his addition does not change the calculus for Republicans. But his arrival comes at a crucial time when Republicans are eager to pass their tax plan.
Republican caucus votes are so tight that during the House GOP’s vote on health care, Chaffetz arrived in the House on a scooter after having surgery on his foot.
“[Curtis] enters at a time when every vote is going to count,” David Magleby, political science professor at Brigham Young University, told the Tribune. “He’s going to have to make some really early, strategic decisions about where he wants to be in the Republican conference and in Congress as a whole.”
Curtis also spoke with Speaker Paul D. Ryan and said he hoped to be on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, since no member from Utah sits on that committee.
Curtis will also step down as mayor of Provo, where he was elected to two terms.
“I don’t want to give that up,” he said at a conversation at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “But I’m excited about what’s ahead.”