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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Restaurateur Sam Granato on Thursday entered the race for the Utah Democratic Party's nomination for U.S. Senate, saying his campaign would focus on promoting clean energy and creating more rural jobs.
The Utah businessman filed paperwork at the lieutenant governor's office and highlighted his background in customer service as a great primer for politics.
"I have the training, I have the background," Granato said.
Granato also promised that if elected, he would be Utah's "salesman" in the Senate and work to bring more federal money to the state.
"Our representatives seem to feel that that money is somehow tainted," Granato said.
Murray-area accountant Christopher Stout, who describes himself as fiscally responsible, will challenge Granato for the nomination. He said he has a firm grasp of the issues.
"A person who wants to be senator has to be able to explain to the people what he's going to do," Stout said.
Both men are seeking to unseat GOP Sen. Bob Bennett, who is seeking a fourth term.
Several Republican candidates also are eyeing Bennett's seat, while the Constitution Party's Scott Bradley has filed to run.
Citing Bennett's support for a bailout of the nation's financial industry, some Republicans have contended he is not conservative enough.
By Thursday afternoon, a total of nine candidates -- including Bennett -- had filed to run for the U.S. Senate seat. The filing period ends Friday at 5 p.m.
Party nominees are chosen by 3,500 delegates at state conventions. Candidates who fail to get 60 percent of delegate votes are forced into primaries.
Delegates, who are not pledged to any specific candidate, are chosen next week. The state convention is in May.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)