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Obama nearly tops Huntsman in Utah fundraising

Published February 21, 2012 9:10 pm

Politics • But Romney still rules, amassing millions.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

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