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The Tea Party In America

Tea Party Victim, Bennett Of UT, To Tell Write-In Plans

Updated at 3:48 pm ET by Frank James — As we expected, Sen. Robert Bennett, the Utah Republican who lost his primary bid for re-election, falling victim to Tea Party opposition, said Wednesday he won't launch a write-in campaign to try and hang on to his job.

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By Howard Berkes

Senator Robert Bennett is considered the first Republican victim of an anti-incumbent, ultra-conservative atmosphere.

Tea Party activists in Utah rejected Bennett as not Republican enough and engineered his defeat in a bid for a fourth term at the state Republican convention this month.

It's too late under Utah law to run as an independent so the only re-election option is a write-in campaign, an expensive and logistical challenge. Bennett's announcement about his plans is scheduled for noon, East Coast Time, at the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, fueling speculation he won't try to keep his senate seat.

The committee has already said it'll support either of the two Republican candidates who survived the state convention and will seek the party nomination in a primary election next month.