Former Republican Utah Senator Bob Bennett died on Wednesday evening.
Bennett was elected to the Senate in 1992. During his eighteen years there, he served on the Appropriations committee and brought large amounts of money back to Utah in the form of earmarks. But his moderate take on many issues likely led to his ouster. In 2010, Mike Lee rode a wave of tea party fueled anger and defeated Bennett at the state nominating convention. In statement, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney called Bennett a friend and counselor, noting he worked alongside the late Senator to manage the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake. Utah’s Senior Senator Orrin Hatch said that Bennett sought innovative solutions and was widely respected by his Senate colleagues, calling him a trusted partner. Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement that Bennett was quote – a tremendous public servant who faithfully represented the state – end quote. Bob Bennett died from complications of pancreatic cancer and a recent stroke. He was 82.