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Washington • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is still king of fundraising in Utah, drawing twice as much for his presidential bid as the state's ex-governor, Jon Huntsman.
Utahns forked over nearly $659,000 for Romney's White House bid in the past three months while Huntsman, who was twice elected to statewide office, pulled in just under $300,000, according to finance reports filed Saturday.
Utah has always been a cash cow for Romney, and his latest report shows residents are still big fans of the man credited with turning the scandal-ridden 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City into a successful venture.
Overall this election cycle, Romney has raised nearly $2 million from Utah, making it one of his top states.
State Sen. Curt Bramble, who has endorsed Romney, says Huntsman has fans in the state, but Utah seems very much to be Mitt Romney country.
"I think that what we're seeing in this election cycle is pretty consistent with what we saw in 2008," Bramble said. "He has a lot of support, and people are willing to back that up with financial contributions."
Romney netted about $5.5 million from Utah in his previous presidential bid.
It's a different case with the state's former governor.
Huntsman, who has struggled to gain momentum, showed deep financial problems in his report filed Saturday, including about $900,000 in debts and only $300,000 cash on hand, even after the eldest son of a chemical magnate tossed more than $2 million of his own substantial fortune into the bid.
Huntsman's campaign recently shuttered its headquarters in Orlando, Fla., and moved a slimmed down operation to Manchester, N.H., putting all bets on winning the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary instead of a three-state strategy as originally envisioned.
Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller said the campaign pared down spending by half from June to September and October's expenses will be lower still. And, he noted, fundraising picked up 200 percent after Huntsman hit 10 percent in a poll of New Hampshire voters.
"We're going to have the resources we need to compete successfully in New Hampshire and beyond," Miller said.
Huntsman, whose personal financial disclosure shows his wealth is of up to $76 million, said at the beginning of his campaign that he had thrown some of his own money into the effort to "prime the pump."
Details released Saturday show he loaned his campaign $50,000 on May 17, more than a month before he formally launched his campaign, and he continued to pour money into the bid. The former governor tossed an additional $500,000 loan to the campaign on Sept. 2.
Huntsman told The Associated Press this week that he doesn't plan to self-fund any more of his effort.
"You never want to say never, but I've basically put in what I'm going to put in," he told the AP. "Campaigns are always concerned about money. We're on the ground. We've got the people we need to get the work done. Now it's about getting votes."
Romney, on the other hand, is still in a strong financial state as he continues as the field's front-runner. Romney's campaign reported zero debt and $14.6 million cash on hand.