Obama nearly tops Huntsman in Utah fundraising
Politics • But Romney still rules, amassing millions.
Published: February 21, 2012 09:10PM
Updated: May 24, 2012 11:38PM
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File photo | The Associated Press President Barack Obama is joined in January 2011 by former U.S. Ambassador to China and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. at a town hall-style event with Chinese youths at the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai. Utahns have donated about as much to Obama's campaign as they have to Huntsman.

Washington • Utahns have donated about as much to President Barack Obama as they have to former Gov. Jon Huntsman, but Republican Mitt Romney remains the biggest winner in the Beehive State’s presidential money chase.

Romney, who headed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and carried the state by nearly 90 percent in the 2008 presidential primary, continues to rake in the most campaign donations from Utahns, according to new financial reports.

The former Massachusetts governor has raised $2.57 million in donations since Jan. 1, 2011, and that’s just in primary contributions. Romney could return later to solicit general election money as well.

Huntsman, who abandoned his GOP White House bid in January, eked out a second place in campaign donations from Utah, hauling in just under $365,000, or about $5,000 more than the Democratic president.

While Utah, which is predominantly LDS, may be one of the most Republican states in the Union, Obama was still able to grab about $360,000 for his re-election efforts, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The reports cover donations from Jan. 1, 2011, through last month. Romney, a Mormon, raised $5.45 million from Utahns in his unsuccessful 2008 bid while Obama pulled in about $1.6 million.

Huntsman’s former campaign still owes $5.17 million, including $2.6 million that the then-candidate loaned his Oval Office push.

tburr@sltrib.com