Salt Lake City, Utah- (News4Utah) – On Saturday, about 4,000 state delegates will gather at the Maverik Center for the Utah Republican Party state convention.
Those delegates will weigh in on races for the state legislature, and Utah’s Congressional Delegation.
In the final hours, candidates are trying to win over those votes.
“The final hours are like the first eight weeks. Which is, meet as many delegates as I can, talk about my message and encourage them to vote for the person who they think will be the best United States senator,” said Governor Mitt Romney, (R) U.S. Senate candidate.
“We’ve been calling delegates six weeks now. It’s been great to talk to them about the issues important to them. So, it’s the same personal touch that we’ve always had. Calling the delegates and working them,” said State Representative Mike Kennedy, (R) U.S. Senate candidate.
Romney and Kennedy are two of twelve Republican candidates hoping to replace Senator Orrin Hatch.
Polls show Romney as the clear front runner, but political observers believe Kennedy could push Romney to a primary at convention.
Kennedy says delegates have shown interest in an alternative to Romney. He says they have also been concerned about federalism.
“The federal government should do certain things. Those things have been enumerated in the Constitution, and most of the rest of the things should be dealt with with the people in the states. So, that’s a big message. The state, I know this state, I love this state, I’ve lived in this state,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy is only going the convention route. Romney also gathered signatures and says he expects to be in a primary, but still hopes for a strong showing at convention.
“I think a lot of them will be making up their mind at the convention tomorrow. So, hard to predict what will happen. I’m hoping for a positive sendoff, but also expecting a good primary to follow,” Romney said.
He says he has also heard those concerns about federalism, and says his resume puts him in position to get more done than the average Jr. Senator.
“I think people recognize that we have to get serious about the debt in this country, and the massive over spending that you are seeing. That’s a message I’m taking out. As well as returning to constitutional principles, that say powers that aren’t given to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people,” said Romney.
Representatives Bishop, Stewart and Curtis all have party challengers at convention. Representative Love is going unchallenged within the party.
Elections for the multi-county state races will get underway at 8 a.m. The main convention will start at 11 a.m.