Romney, Huntsman to Compete for Utah Donors

Thursday, 12 May 2011 12:41 PM

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has proved his a prolific fundraiser, and he’s expected to tap heavily into Utah donors who helped him raise $5.5 million during his 2008 presidential run. This time around, though, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman could challenge his fundraising prowess in the state, the Deseret News reported Thursday.

romney, huntsman, utahUtah was second only to California on the list of states that contributed to Romney’s 2008 campaign.

“What Mitt Romney was able to do four years ago was something that has never been done in the state of Utah," said Stan Lockhart, a former chairman of the Utah Republican Party. "He raised more money here than anybody in history has been able to raise for any office. … People who had not made political contributions in the past made contributions to Mitt."

While Huntsman had a later start in the putting together the fundraising infrastructure, he has deep roots in Utah. The two candidates will be pitted against each other for Utah’s big bundlers.

"I think a fundraising overlap (between Romney and Huntsman) would occur at the level of smaller donors," said Quin Monson, associate director at Brigham Young University's Center of Elections and Democracy. "But there won't be an overlap for the fundraisers, the bundlers who solicit checks and bundle them together.

“Those people, to the extent that they have connections with both Romney and Huntsman, will choose one or the other. … I think Romney has a bit of a head start, both because he's further ahead this time around and because he ran last time."

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