Three-term Senator Bob Bennett Dumped At Utah GOP Convention
May 9, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Republican U.S. Senator Bob Bennett of Utah was taken out of the race to serve a fourth term, by delegates at the Utah GOP convention in a stunning defeat. Attorney Mike Lee and businessman Tim Bridgewater beat out the once-popular three-term incumbent Bennett during the GOP state convention on Saturday, falling victim to a growing conservative movement nationwide.
Bennett’s failure to make it into Utah’s GOP primary, makes him the first congressional incumbent to be ousted this year and demonstrates the challenges candidates face from the right in 2010. Tea Party activists targeted Bennett for his part in raising taxes and what they perceived as the growth of the government. Bennett’s support of the massive financial industry bailout and participation in co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to mandate health insurance coverage may well have been his downfall. Bennett told reporters, choking back tears:
“The political atmosphere obviously has been toxic, and it’s very clear that some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic environment.”
“Looking back on them, with one or two very minor exceptions, I wouldn’t have cast any of them any differently, even if I had known at the time they were going to cost me my career.”