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Republicans force Romney into primary
June 21 2018, 06:47 | Irvin Gilbert
Sure prediction: Mitt Romney (among others) will survive Saturday's Utah GOP convention — thanks to signature
Romney went into Saturday's GOP convention as the favored candidate - his poor performance will likely add to the party establishment's woes. Romney, who was endorsed by Hatch and President Trump, received 49 percent.
Mitt Romneysaid he is looking forward to a primary campaign after failing to win the nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Utah at the state GOP convention.
After a wild and raucous day of voting at the Utah GOP convention, the former MA governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee was unable to win the 60% that he needed to head to the November ballot unopposed.
Nicole Nixon of member station KUER reports for our Newscast unit that Romney had a hard time winning support from Utah's more conservative delegates.
Kennedy edged Romney in the vote among convention delegates, 51 percent to 49 percent, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Kennedy and the ten other candidates Romney faced at the convention questioned the depth of his ties to Utah, and his shifting stance on Trump.
Kennedy, a doctor and lawyer, framed himself as an underdog taking on the "Romney machine".
"This is terrific for the people of Utah, and I really want to thank the delegates who stayed so late to give me the kind of boost that I got here", he said after the vote.
In order to secure the nomination, a candidate needed to achieve 60% of the vote at Utah's state Republican convention.
On the second round of voting, Utah state representative Mike Kennedy emerged in the lead with 50.88%.
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.
The Utah primary election will be held on June 26.
"I'm exhausted", Kennedy said.
The convention also contended with Romney's well-known disdain for and criticism of President Trump. "I'm exhausted of business as usual in Washington, D.C". Romney moved to Utah in 2012 after losing the presidential election to Barack Obama.
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.