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Lt. Gov. denies he wants Bennett's seat

Lt. Gov. denies he wants Bennett's seat


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Mary Richards and AP reportingWhat happens when you have a boastful Facebook page backed up by a claim from a Blackberry? You have a high-tech case of political intrigue involving a lieutenant governor and a U.S. senator.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Lt. Governor Gary Herbert's chief of staff, Joseph Demma, used his personal Facebook page to broadcast Herbert's political ambitions to run for senate in 2010 against Senator Bob Bennett. Demma reportedly texted some republicans a similar message. It prompted a call from the senator to Herbert's office.

In a Sunday posting, Demma wrote that "Joseph Michael Demma's Boss (just re-nominated for Lt. Gov) is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010!"

Demma said that unless Herbert took over as Utah governor, he planned to run for the U.S. Senate regardless of Bennett's plans to seek re-election.

Herbert responded by saying he had no interest in challenging his "good friend." Herbert tells the newspaper he has less than zero interest in running for senate.

Herbert's chief of staff is also softening the talk. He says they are focusing on getting re-elected as lieutenant governor right now.

Bennett is serving a third term and is raising money and assembling a campaign staff for a re-election bid in 2010.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

mrichards@ksl.com

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