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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's largest teachers union is endorsing Democrat Sam Granato for U.S. Senate.
Granato picked up the Utah Education Association's endorsement Monday.
Thomas Nedreberg, UEA's vice president said, "In order to maintain public schools at a high quality, you need adequate funding. Sam is the man who can do that."
The UEA says it supports Granato because he's willing to put aside partisan politics and will make the needs of Utah students a priority.
Granato said, "Our schools and the education of our children are too important to carelessly cut when it's politically convenient."
Granato is a restaurateur running against Republican attorney Mike Lee to replace outgoing GOP U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett.
Bennett had been seeking a fourth term, but failed to advance to the Republican primary because many GOP delegates didn't find him conservative enough.
Granato is trying to pull off an electoral upset by labeling Lee as someone who is too extreme for Utah. Utah hasn't elected a Democratic U.S. senator since 1970.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)