Mitt Romney Fails to Bypass Utah Primary for US Senate

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Romney, who's looking to restart his political career, is running to replace Sen.

The president said on Twitter in February that Romney "will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!" At the Utah GOP Convention, Romney split the vote with conservative state Rep. Mike Kennedy, who acknowledged that after a long day at convention, the room was getting exhausted.

Romney's campaign could not be reached for comment early Sunday. "You don't have to be high-powered and connected to Washington, D.C., to actually offer your services to the people", Kennedy added.

'On to a good, important primary ahead.

Romney said backstage at the Utah Republican convention that he doesn't want to miss finding out what all the candidates would do for Utah. Romney, among a dozen Republicans seeking Hatch's seat, was unable to secure 60% of the votes and thus the nomination; on the second round of voting, state representative Mark Kennedy came out on top with 50.88%, with Romney nipping at his heels with 49.12%. And I hope to be able to get the job done for the people of Utah.

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Romney sought to put a positive spin on the convention vote and the need for a primary.

Conservatives have for several years fought in court and in the Legislature to overturn the state law allowing signature gathering, seeing it as weakening the power of the convention and its delegates. GOP voters will decide between the two in a June 26 primary. The issue prompted hours of debate, shouting and booing at the convention.

"Romney, 71, went up against 11 other candidates at the convention, including one dressed as Abraham Lincoln, complete with vest and bow tie".

In launching his U.S. Senate bid, Romney has tried to keep his focus on state matters rather than his background of well-documented feuds with President Donald Trump, whom he called a "conman" along with also a fake during the 2016 race. Some candidates questioned Romney's past criticism of President Donald Trump. Since then, Trump and Romney appear to have patched up their relationship. Trump responded that Romney had "choked like a dog" in his 2012 campaign against President Barack Obama.

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