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SALT LAKE CITY (Heartland Newsfeed) — Mitt Romney declared victory on Tuesday, earning the Republican nomination in the race for Utah’s U.S. Senate seat with slightly over 73 percent of the vote. The seat is being contested this year as the seat is being vacated due to the retirement of Senator Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
The former Massachusetts governor and one-time presidential nominee celebrated with his family as supporters ate hot dogs and sno-cones.
“Well, it looks like our team won the primary,” Romney announced to his supporters.
The contested race for the party’s nomination started in April when he was among 12 candidates running for the nomination. Ten candidates were eliminated at the convention, with Dr. Mike Kennedy narrowly defeating him in a straw poll. There was not a majority consensus on the nominee, resulting in Romney and Kennedy facing off in the primary.
Romney stated that he would set an example as a leader “consistent with the values of Utah and the founding principles of the United States of America,” adding he would speak out if President Donald Trump does anything considered racist, sexist or xenophobic.
While Romney and Trump don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye, his stance on the president has softened since 2016, when he branded Trump as a “phony” and a “fraud.”
Trump tweeted congratulations to Romney, noting that “a great and loving family will be coming to DC.”
The victory leads Romney to the general election in a likely five-way race for the seat against Democratic opponent Jenny Wilson, Libertarian Party candidate Craig Bowden, Constitution Party candidate Tim Aalders and Independent American Party candidate Reed McCandless.