U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney talks before delegates at the Utah Republican Nominating Convention in West Valley City on Saturday. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune/Associated Press)
Mitt Romney will be forced into a GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah as he looks to restart his political career by replacing long-serving Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, the Associated Press reported Saturday night.
Romney collected enough signatures to advance to a Republican primary, but if he had won party delegates’ votes Saturday, he would have been able to bypass a primary contest.
He was edged out by Utah state Rep. Mike Kennedy. Voters will decide between the two in a June 26 primary, the AP report said.
The loss is a stumble for Romney. He went up against 11 other candidates, mostly political newcomers who questioned Romney’s criticism of President Trump and the depth of his ties to Utah. But the former presidential candidate remains the heavy favorite overall to win the Senate seat in November.