June 11th, 2010
02:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Bennett endorses former rival

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/08/art.bennett.jpg caption ="Utah Sen. Bob Bennett announced Friday his endorsement for Tim Bridgewater in Utah's upcoming GOP primary."]Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah is backing one of the two challengers who ended his bid for a fourth term in the Senate.

On Friday, Bennett confirmed that he's endorsing Tim Bridgewater in Utah's upcoming GOP primary. Bridgewater and Mike Lee finished first and second early last month at a state Republican party convention, advancing to the June 22 primary. Bennett finished third in the voting by delegates, which eliminated him from advancing to the primary and ended his chances of re-election. Bennett became the first sitting senator to go down to defeat in a primary season marked by a strong anti-incumbent sentiment.

"I've known Tim Bridgewater for more than a decade, and I am impressed by the fact that he, like me, brings a businessman approach to political issues," said Bennett, in a statement released Friday by the Bridgewater campaign.

Bennett upset many conservatives with his vote in 2007 in favor of President George W. Bush's plan for a pathway to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, and his 2008 vote in favor of the federal bailout of large banks and financial institutions. The fiscally conservative Club for Growth actively worked to defeat Bennett, as did some national and local Tea Party organizations.

In the lead up to the state party convention, Bridgewater and Lee touted themselves as more reliable conservatives than Bennett. But in his campaign release, Bridgewater said he was deeply grateful to Bennett for his endorsement and his 18 years of service to Utah.

"While some of our policies may differ I have always held Senator Bennett in great respect and I am grateful of his support at this crucial time," added Bridgewater.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Bob Bennett • Utah
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The latest news is that Bush and Cheney are serving their jail time by staying at home. Sounds logical to me being that nobody in Washington wanted them on trial for their disregard of the Constitution and a war of lies. Think about it.

    June 11, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Gil

    This is not only the Party of No, but also the Party of Zombies that follow everything they are told to do. Support fo Banks, Big Oil and Wall Street. Also the attempt to deregulate emission controls of the air. The Party of No has got to go!

    June 11, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Mr. Dithers has been tea-baggered. Yuck.

    June 11, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. E. Elliott

    That is not promising. Any time you hear someone try to claim they will run government at any level like a business, think of Enron or BP. Government is to provide services and stop crime. Business is about money and all too often gouging the consumers to get it.

    June 11, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. good time to go

    you have done a good job, thank you

    June 11, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Paul

    anti-incumbent sentiment? 84 of 86 incumbents running on tuesday won.

    June 11, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Future expat

    "...I am impressed by the fact that he, like me, brings a businessman approach to political issues"

    So, Mr. Bennett, will he, like you, ignore the brown people in your state?

    June 11, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |