Utah delegates cast 40 votes for Romney
Politics • State GOP chairman refers to nominee as 'Utah's favorite adopted son'
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Tampa, Fla. • Utah Republicans offered up their 40 votes to nominate Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential nominee on Tuesday, votes that Romney didn't need to lay claim to the title but a gesture the Beehive State delegates were excited to offer.

Calling Romney "Utah's favorite adopted son," Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright cast the state's votes touting the qualities of its national parks, skiing opportunities and its connection to Romney.

Utah "hosted the greatest Olympics in history because of the greatest snow on Earth and the impeccable proven leadership of Mitt Romney," Wright said.

Utah's support for Romney was never in doubt after the former head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City nabbed 93 percent of the Republican primary votes in the state in June.

And by the time the alphabetical roll call at the Republican National Convention got to Utah, Romney had already netted 1,816 votes, nearly 400 more than he needed to clinch the nomination.

Sen. Orrin Hatch was slated to speak on behalf of the state, but got stuck in traffic heading to the convention and asked Wright to take the spotlight.

Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, was officially nominated by a voice vote at the convention Tuesday as well. Romney doesn't become the official GOP candidate until he accepts the nomination on Thursday night.

tburr@sltrib.com