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Mitt Romney officially announces run for US Senate Seat in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Praising Utahns’ “can-do pioneering spirit” and condemning federal dysfunction, Mitt Romney launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate in a brief video Friday.

“Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington,” the 2012 Republican presidential nominee says in the 2 ½-minute clip.

Utah has balanced its budgets, while the federal government has not. Utah exports more than it imports; Washington has that backwards, Romney says in the video. Utah welcome immigrants, while Washington sends them a message of exclusion, he said.

“Utahns are known for hard work, innovation and our can-do pioneering spirit. I am running for United States Senate because in these trying times there is no better moment to bring Utah’s values to Washington. Utah’s economic and political success is a model for our nation. I am ready to fight for this great state and advocate for solutions that improve the lives of Utahns,” Romney said.

In the coming months, Romney plans to visit each of the state’s 29 counties to talk with Utahns about their priorities, issues and concerns, according to his campaign.

Utah’s dual-track nomination process includes gathering signatures for a June primary and participating in the caucus and convention system. Romney’s campaign said he plans to participate in both the signature-gathering process and the state GOP convention in April.

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News