SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Former Utah Senate President John Valentine says he won’t challenge Gov. Gary Herbert for the Republican nomination in 2010 – but he’s keeping the door open for 2012.Valentine’s announcement Monday effectively clears the path for Herbert to lock up the GOP nomination this spring without having to face any challengers from inside the party.Utah will hold a special election in November to fill out the remainder of former Gov. Jon Huntsman’s term. Huntsman resigned in August to become U.S. ambassador to China.Herbert is still relatively unknown in the state but has raised about $1 million, with most of that coming from large corporate donations from energy companies.So far, no Democrats have said they’ll challenge Herbert.
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