Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah's "favorite son" presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, will be back in the state today to raise money for Sen. Bob Bennett's re-election campaign.
Romney, the leader of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and a former governor of Massachusetts, will appear with Bennett, R-Utah, at a forum in the morning followed by a luncheon fundraiser.
Since losing the 2008 GOP presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. John McCain, Romney has been traveling the country to raise money for fellow Republicans. He appeared with then-President George W. Bush in May 2008 at a pair of party fundraisers.
Those fundraisers, including one at Romney's Deer Valley home that is now up for sale, were said to have brought in more than $2 million. During his presidential bid, Romney collected about $6 million from Utahns and won the state's GOP primary with an unheard-of 90 percent of the vote.
Bennett may be facing a tough race for a fourth term, with some conservative Republicans suggesting it might be time for a change. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has talked about challenging Bennett in the primary. Shurtleff, like Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., endorsed McCain for president.
Romney and Bennett are scheduled to hold "A Conversation About the Future" at the Rose Wagner Theatre downtown beginning at 9 a.m. Their discussion is to be moderated by KSL radio talk-show host Doug Wright.
Then the pair will head to Little America for a $1,000-a-plate fundraising luncheon. For $2,400, a roundtable discussion and a photo opportunity with Romney and Bennett are also included.
Romney was expected to spend Monday night in Utah, where one of his five sons lives. After the fundraiser, Romney is set to fly to California. He bought a beachfront home in La Jolla, near San Diego, last year.
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