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Former Governor Mike Leavitt Predicts Open GOP Convention

Brian Grimmett
Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt speaks at Thought Leaders Symposium

Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt says he believes no Republican Presidential candidate will make it to the Republican National Convention with a majority of delegates.

In addition to serving as Governor of Utah for more than a decade, Leavitt has also worked on presidential election campaigns as far back as Ronald Reagan and as recently as Mitt Romney. He says even with all that experience; he’s never seen an election quite like this one.

“We are in uncharted territory here," he says. "And I don’t think there is any clarity, to use the word of the day, other than what the rules are today and the way it’s unfolded in the past. And I think we can all begin to buckle our chin straps and enjoy what I think is going to be a lesson in the way our democracy, our two party system, works.”

Like many Utah Republicans Leavitt isn’t a fan of Donald Trump. But unlike many of them, Leavitt chose to support Ohio Governor John Kasich in Utah’s presidential primary rather than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Leavitt says being forced to choose between the candidate most likely to succeed and the candidate who you think would be best is just one of the strange consequences of the system.

“This is one of the components of the democracy that we’re in that’s a bit problematic," he says. "Sometimes it doesn’t produce the best person, it produces the best of a group of people who offer themselves in a process that can in fact eliminate people who you’d think wouldn’t be.”

While Leavitt thinks Trump won’t get the required number of delegates to secure the GOP nomination before convention, he does think that if Trump is within 50 he’ll find away to close that gap before the first vote. But if it does become an open convention, Leavitt says any of the remaining candidates could still be in the running for the GOP presidential nomination. 

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