Mitt Romney Faces a Republican Primary in Bid for Senate Seat

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Romney is seeking Utah's GOP nomination for Senate, but was forced into a primary race Saturday against state lawmaker Mike Kennedy.

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is interviewed at the Silicon Slopes Tech Conference on January 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He will face a primary challenge from State Representative Mike Kennedy in June.

In the final round of voting at the Republican party's convention, Romney had won only 49.12 per cent of the votes, the Hill reports.

"I'm not a cheap date", he said with a smile. "I'm exhausted of business as usual in Washington, D.C".

"We've got 60 days to reach out to as many voters as we can".

Romney remains the heavy favorite overall to win the Senate seat in November. Orrin G. Hatch (R) and a popularity with Republicans that he earned as their 2012 presidential nominee. Conservatives have opposed the signature process since it diminishes the sway of the convention. But, pursuing the nomination through the convention and signature gathering "was right for me".

Romney rejected the notion that he was Goliath.

"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.

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The former MA governor was presumed to be the front-runner but failed to secure the nomination for Senate.

"I'm exhausted", Kennedy told delegates before the last vote. "Working together we will defeat the Goliaths in Washington and restore our government where it belongs". He framed himself as an underdog taking on the "Romney machine". He fell to former President Obama in the general election. (Ultimately Friedbaum was booed off the stage and ended up with three votes). "Washington, D.C., is the Goliath".

"It's time to restore the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution", he said. Though the law is a source of contention in the party, some high-profile candidates like Utah Gov. Gary Herbert have taken that route to victory despite losing at convention.

Romney and Kennedy will now head to a Republican primary on June 26 to try and replace Sen. However the two males have proven contemporary indicators of burying the hatchet, and Romney has accepted Trump's endorsement.

Romney has tried to shift the focus away from his public spats with Trump and instead focus on Utah's issues.

Kennedy praised Trump throughout his speech to delegates Saturday before the vote. But Romney said Saturday he hasn't decided whether he'll endorse the president's 2020 re-election bid. At the convention, Romney never mentioned Trump's name.

"Thoughtless college students seek exclusion from our First Amendment", Romney said.

"If he says things that I think are off the mark in a serious way, I'll point that out", Romney continued. He called Trump a "fraud" who lacked the character to be president.

"If they are not backing off, then the sanctions - and the punishments - have to be more severe", Romney said. "Everybody can talk a good game".

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