(National Sentinel) Run-off: It’s not clear yet, but it could be that two-time GOP presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s never-Trump attitude has cost him what some believed was a shoo-in U.S. Senate nomination.
In his bid to succeed retiring Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, Romney finished second in votes from GOP delegates at the state’s Republican Party convention in West Valley City, behind state lawmaker Mike Kennedy.
That means Kennedy, who garnered 50.18 percent of the delegate vote, and Romney — with 49.12 percent — will face off in a Republican primary election June 26.
Despite his unexpected second-place finish, Romney was unfazed.
“I’m delighted with the outcome. Did very, very well,” Romney told Salt Lake City’s FOX 13. “On to a good, important primary ahead. This is terrific for the people of Utah.”
Kennedy, too, was happy with the way the vote turned out, the station reported.
“I’m a candidate with a compelling life story and a unique set of life circumstances I’d like to use to serve the people of Utah,” he told FOX 13.
Saturday’s convention lasted more than eight hours, mostly because of bickering over rules, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Convention delegates tend to be more conservative than Utah’s general electorate, the newspaper noted further.
As reported by Fox News:
Romney, 71, who ran against Barack Obama for president in 2012, went up against 11 other candidates seeking Utah’s GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. Most of them were political newcomers who questioned Romney’s criticism of President Donald Trump and the depth of his ties to Utah. (Romney is a former governor of Massachusetts, and his late father, George Romney, was a former governor of Michigan.)
Romney is attempting to keep his — and the media’s — focus on Utah issues, but his past feuds with the president are damning. He once called Trump a phony and a “con man” during the 2016 primary season.
Trump returned the fire, as he is prone to do, saying Romney “choked” during his 2012 bid to unseat President Obama.