SANDY – At this weekend’s Republican state nominating convention, U.S. Senate candidates Dan Liljenquist and incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch, battled it out through two votes. Any candidate receiving 40 percent is eligible for primary vote, any receiving 60 percent of the delegate vote would automatically place on the ballot as the party’s candidate. Liljenquist received 40.81 percent and Hatch 59.1 percent, propelling both of them to a party primary vote in June.
Liljenquist’s campaign manager, Holly Richardson, said this was the first time Hatch has been sent to primary in 30 years.
“I am pleased with the race we ran,” said Liljenquist. “As we talked to delegates, our message of fiscal discipline and bold, innovative ideas resonated with them. After weeks of hearing this race was over, I think it’s clear that the momentum is on our side. Just three weeks ago, polls put us at a mere 16 percent among delegates. Today, 40 percent of those delegates said they are ready for change in Washington. We are excited to take our message to the voters of Utah.”
In Liljenquist’s convention speech, he laid out some of his commitments to the voters of Utah, including a commitment to financial reform, term limits, and a promise to run legislation to eliminate pensions for Congress, as he did for Utah legislators.
Liljenquist said that in the 1970’s, when the U.S. Senate had unprecedented turnover, Utah voted in two freshmen senators, back-to-back. Jake Garn was elected in 1974 and Orrin Hatch became the junior senator in 1976. That same phenomenon is happening again today. In the last seven years alone 49 new Senators have been elected with 10 more retiring this year.” There is a youth movement in the United States Senate,” said Liljenquist. “These are the new generation of leaders we desperately need!”
Whichever of the two prevails at primary will face-off against Scott Howell, nominated as the Democratic party senate candidate at their convention this same weekend, as well as against other parties’ candidates.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.