Romney Faces Tough Path To GOP Nomination

Julia Ritchey  KUER

A candidate needs 60 percent of the delegate vote to win the Utah Republican party's nomination outright.

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.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been forced into a primary race after losing Saturday's nomination battle at the state's GOP convention in West Valley City, Utah.

When Mitt Romney announced his candidacy for a Senate seat in Utah in February and received an endorsement from President Trump shortly thereafter, many expected that the former governor of MA and 2012 presidential candidate would be sailing to a November victory. Majority have been political newcomers who questioned Romney's criticism of President Donald Trump and the depth of his ties to Utah. 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, 71, went up against 11 other candidates at the convention, including one dressed as Abraham Lincoln, complete with vest and bow tie".

State Rep. Mike Kennedy won 50.88 per cent.

"Thank you to all the delegates who hung in there with us all day at the Convention", Romney tweeted later Saturday.

"Gathering signatures to make the ballot is unpopular among many conservative delegates in the state who say it dilutes their ability to choose a candidate".

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.

Romney and Kennedy will now compete in a primary set for June 26.

Romney 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. "I'm not Goliath. Washington, D.C., is Goliath". He moved to Utah after his 2012 marketing campaign failed. Romney was especially critical of Trump's negative rhetoric about immigrants.

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