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With Bennett sidelined, Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater will now face off for Utah Senate seat

May 8, 2010 |  8:30 pm

GOP delegates in Utah 

The fun will continue in Utah for a few more weeks, though not for incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett.

Failing to achieve the necessary 60% support of GOP state convention delegates to win outright, businessman Tim Bridgewater and attorney Mike Lee will face off in a June 22 primary to determine which of them will be the GOP nominee and, most likely, the next U.S. senator from the Beehive State.

Bennett was defeated in the second round of voting and, in a tearful appearance before reporters, said he would not have done much differently, even though he became the first Utah senator to lose renomination in 70 years.

"The political atmosphere, obviously, has been toxic, and it's very clear some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic environment," Bennett said. "Looking back on them, with one or two very minor exceptions, I wouldn't have cast them any differently, even if I'd known at the time it would cost me my career.

The final results: Bridgewater 57.28%, Lee 42.72%.

On to June!

-- Mark Z. Barabak

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Photo: Utah Republicans gather for the state party convention Saturday in Salt Lake City. Credit: Associated Press.