Heard on the Hill

Take Five: John Curtis

Utah Republican says his predecessor, Jason Chaffetz, told him not to run

Utah Rep. John Curtis is walking less than he did as mayor but he gets more tired now. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. John Curtis, 57, a Utah Republican, talks about using all his energy on the GOP primary, advice from former Rep. Jason Chaffetz and missing Christmastime in Provo.

Q: What has surprised you so far about Congress?

A: I think the single greatest thing that caught me off guard was I walk a lot and how tired I was because of the marble, the hard surfaces. I was not walking as much as I was back in Provo and I was more tired. The serious [answer] is probably how welcoming everybody has been. It’s been great to find that everybody on both sides of the aisle, staffers, members, have just been incredibly helpful and reached out.

[Utah’s New Congressman Comes With Baggage: 300 Pairs of Socks]

Q: Is there anything about your campaign that you would change?

A: It was a very interesting campaign. It’s an interesting district because so much of its buildup is on the Republican primary. I think a lot of our emotional energy and all our energy went toward the Republican primary, and if I had to do it again, I would have saved some of that for the general election and kept it at the same intensity level.

[Take Five: Neal Dunn]

Q: Did former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who you replaced, give you any particular advice during your campaign that stood out to you?

A: Yeah, don’t do it. [Laughs.] His advice was just kind of go in with your eyes wide open, make sure you know what you’re getting into.

[Take Five: Matt Gaetz]

Q: What was the most memorable part of your swearing in on Nov. 13?

A: For me, I felt very fortunate that I had my wife, all six of my children and my three siblings there, and my kids’ spouses, and not all but some of my grandkids.

[Take Five: Salud Carbajal]

Q: With you being so far from home maybe for the first time this holiday season, what will you miss?

A: I’ve been fortunate to be the mayor of my city for years, and I’ll miss the role of mayor during the Christmas season. There were a lot of things — parades and things like that. It’s kind of sad not to be turning the lights on and things like that.

[Take Five: Jacky Rosen]

Quick Hits

Last book read: It’s a book about Winston Churchill that I’m reading right now.

Last movie seen: “Thor” — saw that over the weekend.

Favorite song of all time: “I don’t know if I’ve ever known you to turn on the tunes,” said Corey Norman, Curtis’ chief of staff and former deputy mayor.

“I know. It’s got to be something from ‘Les [Misérables],’” Curtis replied. “I’ll just say the ‘Les Mis’ soundtrack.”

Role model: My father.

Closest to in Congress: Probably Chris Stewart has reached out the most.

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