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Lee Benson, Deseret News

Provo mayor says he won't seek a third term

By Katie McKellar  |  Posted Nov 1st, 2016 @ 4:06pm


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PROVO — Mayor John Curtis has announced he won’t seek re-election next year.

“Truthfully, I don’t believe any decision in my life has been weighed as carefully as answering this question,” the two-term mayor said in a YouTube video posted Tuesday. “Up until recently, I didn’t know the answer myself. But after almost a year of heavy deliberation, I’ve decided not to seek the third term.”

Curtis said his belief that elected officials should self-limit their terms was a “significant factor” in his decision.

“I have a strong belief that a big problem with our political system has a lot to do with elected officials overstaying,” he said. “I don’t think this kind of longevity is helpful, and I don’t see myself as that kind of politician, nor do I want to be.”

The mayor said he shares his announcement with Provo residents with “confidence that it’s the right decision” but also with “soberness.”

“When I look back on everything we’ve been able to do together, it’s been remarkable, and I will miss this work,” he said.

Curtis said he has no idea what he will do next, but he plans on it being “big, fun and exciting.”

He said he hasn’t given running for another political office much thought, but he didn’t rule it out.

“For now, I need a break,” Curtis said. “But no one should be surprised if I show up again in a political arena.”

The mayor said he plans on “staying involved,” and he’ll be looking for a new mayoral candidate to support — one who can keep Provo’s “momentum going, respect the city’s incredible employees, and be open and transparent,” he said.

As for the remainder of his term, Curtis said he plans to announce his goals for 2017 in a few months.

“And you can expect as long a list as ever,” he said.

Curtis was first elected in 2009, when he defeated opponent Steve Clark by roughly 5 percent of the vote. He earned a second term in 2013 with 86 percent of the vote over challenger Jason Christensen.

Curtis' current term runs through the end of 2017.

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