Mitt Romney forced into primary election for Utah Senate seat

Mitt Romney forced into primary election for Utah Senate seat

Kerry Wise
April 24, 2018

After multiple rounds of caucus voting, Romney failed to get a majority of the votes from the delegates, meaning he will face State Representative Mike Kennedy in a primary on June 26.

The results are a setback for Romney's attempts at a political comeback and serve as a reminder of his 2012 comment that "this ain't bean bag" - a phrase dating back to the turn of the 20th century which suggests politics is a game meant only for tough men. A lot of them have been political newcomers who questioned Romney's criticism of President Donald Trump and the depth of his ties to Utah.

Kennedy edged Romney in the vote among convention delegates, 51 percent to 49 percent, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

"Even with his name recognition and campaign war chest, Romney couldn't get the 60 percent of the vote he needed to avoid a primary".

Romney offered a characteristically awkward retort, correcting Kennedy on his biblical metaphor and claiming he's the one who'll take on the status quo in D.C.

"But you know what I'm really exhausted of", Kennedy asked the crowd. "Washington, D.C., is the Goliath" he said.

Romney, 71, asked for delegates' votes after spending two months on the campaign trail visiting dairy farms, taking selfies with college students and making stump speeches in small towns.

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At the convention, Mr. Romney faced 11 other candidates, mostly political newcomers who questioned his criticism of President Trump and the depth of his ties to Utah.

"I know there were many people who were not enthusiastic about someone gathering signatures", Romney said.

He has worked to keep the focus on state issues rather than his history of well-documented feuds with Trump, whom he called a "conman" and a phony during the 2016 race.

Despite once tweeting that Romney "choked like a dog" during his own White House run, Trump eventually backed Romney posting that he would make a good senator. Since then, Trump and Romney appear to have patched up their relationship.

He has said that he supports many of Trump's policies but is also not afraid to criticize the president when necessary.

Democrats in Utah will pick their nominee for the U.S. Senate seat next weekend.