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Mitt Romney's summit will bring 2016 contenders to Utah

Published May 8, 2015 7:57 am

Meeting • The one-time presidential candidate will get a chance to put his stamp on politics.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A bevy of Republican presidential candidates is heading to Utah for Mitt Romney's fourth E2 Summit, a gathering of political leaders, business executives and major campaign donors.

Romney's team sent out invitations Thursday for the three-day Deer Valley event that begins on June 11.

Among the confirmed attendees are five potential presidential contenders: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

A staffer for the summit says former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was invited, but couldn't make it because of an earlier scheduled trip to Germany, Poland and Estonia.

Romney launched the Experts and Enthusiasts Summit to maintain his political network following the 2012 presidential contest and it has consistently attracted big names, including a few Democrats such as David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, who is expected to make a second appearance at the event at Stein Eriksen Lodge.

Romney, who now lives in Utah, briefly considered a third presidential run, but decided against it in January, concerned that while he might win the nomination in a long and potentially brutal primary, he might emerge weakened for a general-election fight against likely Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

But Romney has remained politically engaged and has repeatedly criticized Clinton, most recently accusing her of politicizing the unrest in Baltimore to gain support from black voters.

The E2 Summit is another chance for him to put his stamp on the political world. The group of policy, political and business leaders will participate in a mix of policy discussions and outdoor recreation. Adviser Spencer Zwick says the "common interest of the group being the strength and future of American leadership."

The event has been co-organized by Romney and Solamere Capital, the venture capital firm led by Zwick and Romney's son Tagg. Mitt Romney is chairman of Solamere's executive committee.






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