With Romney out, GOP chief will back McCain | ParkRecord.com

With Romney out, GOP chief will back McCain

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

If only Mitt Romney had lived in 21 other states.

After he was walloped Super Tuesday by John McCain, Romney reminded reporters of his victories in primaries in Utah, Michigan and Massachusetts, all states in which he has lived.

Thursday Romney withdrew from the race to become the Republican presidential nominee.

"I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues," said Romney in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. "But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that [Hillary] Clinton or [Barack] Obama would win."

"And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," Romney continued in his speech.

Republicans in Summit County overwhelmingly supported Romney, a Mormon who owns a home in Deer Valley and helped organize the 2002 Olympics.

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Summit County GOP chairman David Ure, a Kamas resident who voted for Romney, said his support will shift to McCain.

"There was no way [Romney] could catch John McCain unless he virtually picked up every non-committed vote in the nation, and that’s not going to happen," Ure said Friday.

McCain is a better choice than Obama or Clinton because of his experience in matters of foreign policy, Ure said.

"McCain at least has experience with foreign relations and armies," he said. "Obama and Hillary don’t have experience in anything except giving something away."

Obama and Clinton have pledged to withdrawal American troops from Iraq if elected.

"As far as I’m concerned, America is at a breaking point," Ure said, adding that a hasty withdrawal from Iraq could be disastrous.

Clinton and Obama also lack experience in economics, he added.

"How do they know what to make the interest rate and how to raise the value of our dollar overseas?" Ure said.

Absentee and provisional ballots haven’t been counted. But Romney has defeated McCain in Summit County 2,122 votes to 463.

Ballots in the Western States Primary were cast by about 25 percent of registered voters in Summit County.

Ninety people voted for GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee and Republican Ron Paul received 87 votes. Though Rudy Giuliani withdrew from the race, the former New York mayor received 13 votes in Summit County.

Only registered Republican’s were allowed to participate in the party’s Super-Tuesday primary and 2,784 GOP faithful in Summit County voted.

The Democrats attracted 3,799 voters to the polls.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama was the top vote-getter at 2,601. In Summit County, his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, received 1,156 votes.

Twenty-six county residents supported Democrat John Edwards, who recently withdrew from the race. Former Democratic candidates Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson each received seven votes.

Statewide Obama defeated Clinton in Utah by nearly 22,000 votes. Romney received about 255,218 votes in the Beehive State compared to McCain’s 15,264.

In Summit County, Clinton received 89 votes each in the Highland Estates and Jeremy Ranch East voting precincts. In Deer Valley and Snyders Mill, 75 people supported Clinton. Sixty-nine people in Jeremy Ranch West voted for Clinton.

Obama received 202 votes in Jeremy Ranch East and 193 in Highland Estates. In the Quarry Mountain precinct, about 177 people cast ballots for the senator from Illinois.

In Deer Valley and Snyders Mill, 154 people supported Obama and he received 142 votes in Jeremy Ranch West.

Meanwhile, many of Romney’s votes were provided in eastern Summit County.

Romney received 184 votes in Oakley and 166 in Henefer. In Hoytsville, 133 people supported Romney.

McCain garnered 37 votes in Snyders Mill, 36 in Quarry Mountain and 31 votes in the Jeremy Ranch West precinct.

Huckabee received just a handful of votes in any one precinct. Twelve voters in Jeremy Ranch East and 11 voters in Highland Estates supported the former Arkansas governor. Huckabee received nine votes each in the Park West and Jeremy Ranch West precincts.

Ballots were cast by 6,595 of the 25,937 people registered to vote in Summit County.

The precinct in the county with the highest turnout was Spring Hollow in North Summit, where nearly 34 percent of the 206 registered voters participated. In the Silver Springs precinct, nearly 32 percent of the 749 registered voters cast ballots.

Meanwhile, more than 30 percent of the voters registered in the Quarry Mountain, Oakley, Hoytsville and Coalville North precincts participated in Tuesday’s primary.

Summit County Clerk Kent Jones said the election was the first time officials used touch-screen electronic voting machines.

"I was pleased with Election Day," Jones said, adding that people in Summit County didn’t wait longer than a few minutes to vote. "We learned some things and we’ll make some improvements."