Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is lending his support to an initiative that would change the way Utah political parties choose their candidates. In an e-mail to former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R), Romney said he supports Count My Vote, an initiative that would require party nominees to be chosen in primaries rather than through a convention system. “I want to tell you that Ann and I are supporters. Since the election, I’ve been pushing hard for states to move to direct primaries,” Romney wrote in an e-mail first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune. “Caucus/convention systems exclude so many people: they rarely produce a result that reflects how rank-and-file Republicans feel. I think that’s true for Democrats, too.” Romney said the Count My Vote initiative could “count on us to help financially.”
Utah parties currently nominate candidates through conventions, where only a small handful of elected delegates can vote. If no candidate receives a 60 percent supermajority of the convention vote, the top two vote-getters advance to a primary election.
That system has led to the ouster of several incumbents, most notably Sen. Bob Bennett (R), who finished in third place in his 2010 re-election bid. Leavitt and other top Republicans have pushed the initiative to change the convention process, they say, to open nominating primaries to a wider swath of Republican voters.
Full Article: Romney backs effort to end nominating conventions in Utah.