FIRST ON FOX – Republican Utah state Sen. Mike Kennedy is launching a bid for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District to replace GOP incumbent John Curtis, who is running to replace Mitt Romney in the U.S. Senate. 

Utah’s 3rd District covers part of Salt Lake City and includes the cities of Orem and Provo. The seat was previously held by former Congressman Jason Chaffetz until 2017. Later that year, Curtis won the seat in a special election. 

The district is a Republican stronghold. Former President Trump won the district with over 56% of the vote in 2020 and Curtis won by over 45% in 2022.

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“I came from poverty, single-parent home, a free lunch kid in high school and never had anything that wasn’t,” said Kennedy. “For a fellow like me to not only have a chance to get a great education, but also to serve the people of the great state of Utah… I am so impressed with the people in the great state of Utah. They’re outstanding people.”

Kennedy, a family medicine doctor and attorney, ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018 in the Beehive State against Mitt Romney. Kennedy secured the most votes in the Utah State Republican Convention, but ultimately was defeated by Romney in the Republican primary. 

However, Kennedy tells Fox News Digital that there is no bad blood. “Party infighting is more selfish than selfless,” said Kennedy. He also said that he will “work with anybody who’s got a good idea, who’s willing to look to the future and make it better for all of us.”

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During his time in the Utah state Senate, Kennedy helped pass legislation fighting COVID mandates and transgender minor surgeries. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Kennedy returned to his role as a family doctor, spending months caring for patients and conducting his own research on COVID-19.

“The COVID crisis – and being a doctor dealing with sickness on a regular basis, it was a very good spot for me to be on,” said Kennedy. “As far as the response that the state of Utah had to go, we’re able to balance the important issues associated with health and preserving life, but not destroying livelihoods at the same time.”

Roosevelt Mayor Rod Bird Jr. is also running for Utah’s 3rd District. Former Utah state Rep. Chris Herrod and state auditor John Dougall are considering running. The primary election will be held June 25 and the general election is Nov. 4. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.