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Tim Bridgewater 57, Mike Lee 43

That was the final breakdown of votes at the Utah Republican convention, forcing businessman Tim Bridgewater and lawyer Mike Lee into a June 22 primary for the party's U.S. Senate nomination. Lee has the support of state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and FreedomWorks, among other groups respected by tea partyers. Bridgewater, generally speaking, has more support from the GOP establishment.

In other news, Utah Democrats forced Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) into a primary, giving the veteran congressman only 55% of the vote against progressive activist Claudia Wright, clearly blowback for Matheson's votes against the Democratic agenda. Republican consultant Patrick Ruffini sneakily suggests that GOP voters change their registration to back Wright. Republicans would have until May 22 to do so, but the contested GOP primary at the top of the ballot makes it unlikely that the party will encourage some tactical votes.

By David Weigel  |  May 8, 2010; 7:38 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Next: Conservatives get ready for Kagan

 
 
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