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Mormons go head to head in duels for voters' hearts and minds

Published August 9, 2012 2:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

To some Mormons, it's unseemly watching two members of their faith — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — go at it in the political arena.Reid has alleged that Romney isn't releasing his taxes because he didn't pay any; Romney denies it and cries foul.But that's not the only high-stakes Mormon vs. Mormon case of verbal jousting — even outside of LDS-dominated Utah — in this election cycle.In Arizona, which has never had a Mormon U.S. senator, two Latter-day Saints are battling one another for the Republican nomination, writes Kay Atkinson King in a blog post at By Common Consent. It is a "clash that appears to equal the intensity of the Obama-Romney fight," King writes, "with additional elements of personal friendship betrayed."Nevada is the only state other than Utah in which both U.S. senators are Mormons — but in the Silver State they're from opposing parties. Republican Dean Heller, the junior senator, "was appointed fourteen months ago to fill the unexpired term of the previous senator who resigned." He "faces a tough election challenge this November" from Democratic candidate Shelley Berkley, who is Jewish.Berkley, currently a member of the U.S. House, has been endorsed by Nevada's other LDS senator: Harry Reid.For Mormon political junkies such as King, who worked on Capitol Hill for more than two decades, this year has provided "some of the most interesting political drama in years."Peggy Fletcher Stack