GOP Rep Running For Mitt Romney’s Seat Rakes In Thousands From Nikki Haley Donors In First Quarter As Candidate

Republican Utah Rep. John Curtis — the frontrunner in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Mitt Romney — received thousands of dollars in contributions from donors to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s presidential bid during the first fundraising quarter of his Senate campaign, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) data.

Curtis brought in over $98,000 from donors of Haley’s suspended campaign and aligned super PAC, SFA Fund, Inc., between Jan. 1 and April 7, FEC filings show. The congressman has refrained from endorsing former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign while other leading Republican contenders for Romney’s seat have, including lawyer Brent Orrin Hatch, former state House Speaker Brad Wilson and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs.

One of the various Haley donors who gave to Curtis’ campaign is Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who doled out $5 million to SFA Fund, Inc., in December 2023, according to FEC data. Curtis’ campaign reported receiving $6,600 from Griffin on Feb. 29.

Elliott Management Corp. President Paul Singer gave another $6,600 to Curtis’ campaign on Feb. 25, FEC data shows. Singer gave the Haley-affiliated super PAC $5 million in December.

Richard Emmet, who serves on the Hudson Institute‘s Board of Trustees and is the former managing director at Jane Street Capital, gave Curtis’ campaign $3,300 on Feb. 22, according to the FEC filing. Between February 2023 and January 2024, Emmet donated $755,000 to SFA Fund, Inc.

While Curtis — a former Democrat — has previously been critical of Trump, his campaign maintains that he will be voting for the former president in 2024.

“Congressman Curtis voted with Trump 91% of the time. He supports improving border security, including building a wall. He voted for Trump’s tax reform and applauded his Supreme Court nominees,” Adrielle Herring, campaign manager for Curtis, told the DCNF in a statement on April 4. “Congressman Curtis voted for Trump in 2020 and campaigned for him around the western states. He will vote for him again in November.”

Haley declined to endorse the former president after withdrawing from the Republican primary after Super Tuesday losses, and instead encouraged Trump to “earn the votes” from her supporters.

The congressman’s Senate campaign brought in $1.3 ahead of Saturday’s Republican convention, and reported having $1.3 million in cash on hand. Curtis narrowly out-paced Wilson and Hatch during the first fundraising quarter, as they both brought in roughly $1.2 million, while Staggs totaled just shy of $200,000.

Curtis officially jumped in the race in early January after months of speculation as to whether he’d run for the open seat or seek another term in the lower chamber. The congressman initially decided against a Senate bid just weeks after Romney announced in mid-September that he’d be retiring after 2024, but Curtis said he was reconsidering by November.

While polling for the race has been scarce, a Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey released in late January found Curtis leading the field at 18%, followed by Hatch with 14%, Wilson with 8% and Staggs with 3%. A December Guidant Polling and Strategy/Conservative Values for Utah PAC poll, which did not include Hatch, showed the congressman ahead by nearly 30 points.

The seat is considered “Solid R” by The Cook Political Report for 2024.

Curtis’ campaign did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.


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