Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the featured speaker at this week’s Idaho Republican Party convention in Idaho Falls, has been raising lots of money for his leadership political action committees as he prepares for a possible run for president. According to Sunday editions of the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, a good chunk of that money is coming in from Utah.
The Utah paper found that nearly 45 percent of the $1.6 million raised so far by Romney’s PACs was from Utahns. But even though Romney is the governor of a state about as far from Utah as you can get, he’s hardly unknown in the Beehive State. Romney led the successful 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which earned him plenty of gratitude and affection in the state.
The Deseret News quoted Kelly Patterson, director of BYU’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, saying Romney, a Republican, also fits the political culture in Utah. “People think that just because he’s LDS, there’s this natural affinity and there will be this kind of monolithic movement toward Gov. Romney,” Patterson told the paper. “I’d caution people that as much as there’s this religious affinity, there’s also this ideological one.”
The paper also noted that Romney’s late father served as governor of Michigan.