Fearing a Utah ‘coronation’, nearly a dozen Republicans challenge Romney

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney leaves the state elections office after declaring his candidacy for the U.S. Senate Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Nearly a dozen Republicans have filed to challenge former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a Utah Senate race.

Romney and 11 others filed to become candidates to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch before a 5 p.m. deadline Thursday.

Despite the crowded primary and a handful of Democrats, Romney is expected to handily win the race.

Many of the candidates acknowledge the David-vs-Goliath nature of challenging the famous and popular Romney, but they say someone needs to keep the race to replace Republican Orrin Hatch from becoming a “coronation.”

Romney is pushing back against the criticism, saying he’s working to earn every vote and emphasizing his ties to Utah,k where he’s made his home.

He filed papers on Thursday to officially become a candidate.

In addition to a crowded primary, he faces a handful of Democrats and third-party candidates all aiming to take him on.

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The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate include <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Samuel%20B.%20Parker.pdf” target=”_blank”>Samuel B. Parker</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Loy%20Brunson.pdf” target=”_blank”>Loy Brunson</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Mike%20Kennedy.pdf” target=”_blank”>Mike Kennedy</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Mitt%20Romney.pdf” target=”_blank”>Mitt Romney</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Tim%20Jimenez.pdf” target=”_blank”>Tim Jimenez</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Abe%20Lincoln%20Brian%20Jenkins.pdf” target=”_blank”>Abe Lincoln Brian Jenkins</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Torrey%20Jenkins.pdf” target=”_blank”>Torrey Jenkins</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Stoney%20Fonua.pdf” target=”_blank”>Stoney Fonua</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Jeremy%20Lewis%20Friedbaum.pdf” target=”_blank”>Jeremy Lewis Friedbaum</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Alicia%20Colvin.pdf” target=”_blank”>Alicia Colvin</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Larry%20Meyers.pdf” target=”_blank”>Larry Meyers</a>, and <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Joshua%20C.%20Lee.pdf” target=”_blank”>Joshua C. Lee</a>.

Democratic candidates include <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Jeff%20Dransfield.pdf” target=”_blank”>Jeff Dransfield</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Mitchell%20Vice.pdf” target=”_blank”>Mitchell Vice</a>, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Larry%20Livingston.pdf” target=”_blank”>Larry Livingston</a> and <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Jenny%20Wilson.pdf” target=”_blank”>Jenny Wilson</a>.

There are also a series of third party candidates: <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Craig%20R.%20Bowden.pdf” target=”_blank”>Craig R. Bowden</a> for the Libertarian Party, <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Tim%20Aalders.pdf” target=”_blank”>Tim Aalders</a> for the Constitution Party, and <a href=”https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Declarations%20of%20Candidacy/US%20Senate%20Candidates/US%20Senate%20-%20Reed%20C.%20McCandless.pdf” target=”_blank”>Reed C. McCandless</a> for the Independent American Party.

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