Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) “has lost his bid to serve a fourth term after failing to advance past the GOP state convention,” the AP reports.
Attorney Mike Lee and businessman Tim Bridgewater are the remaining Republican candidates after Saturday’s vote.
Bennett was a distant third in the voting among roughly 3,500 delegates. He garnered just under 27 percent of the vote. Bridgewater had 37 percent and Lee 35 percent.
Bennett is the first incumbent to lose his seat in Washington this year, the victim of a conservative movement angered by rising taxes and the growth of government.
He told reporters “after the first round of voting that he wouldn’t rule out a write-in candidacy if he loses.”
State law prohibits him from getting on the ballot as an independent.
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) made the following statement in response, according to a press release:
“I commend my colleague Bob Bennett for his tremendous service to the people of Utah during his 17 years in the United States Senate, and I thank him for his professionalism, integrity, and friendship. Senator Bennett has long exemplified the strong values and deep work ethic of his state, and he has fought tirelessly for lower taxes and limited government on behalf of Utah’s best interests.
“This has been an open and spirited process and I want to be clear that the NRSC will wholeheartedly support the Republican candidate that primary voters in Utah ultimately choose as their nominee. I am confident that this Senate seat remains in Republican control this November.”
(credit image – msn)