- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah U.S. Senate candidate Mike Kennedy has assets worth up to about $2 million, a healthy balance sheet that’s nevertheless far smaller than his Republican competitor Mitt Romney, according to financial disclosure forms.

The state lawmaker loaned $250,000 from his retirement accounts to help fund his campaign, spokesman Joe Debose said Wednesday.

Kennedy edged out Romney at the party’s nominating convention last week, forcing a June primary where the onetime presidential contender remains the favorite to win the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The conservative from Alpine, 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, has positioned himself as a homegrown alternative to the political-heavyweight Romney. He has said he knows what it’s like to balance a budget while raising a family.

Kennedy, who believes the country’s national debt is its biggest security threat, has paid off his own home, which is worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

The father of eight owns a stake in his medical practice, according to the documents filed Friday with the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee. Candidates are required to report the value of their assets in ranges rather than exact dollar amounts.

His assets are worth between $1.1 million and $2.3 million and he makes about $200,000 a year.

Kennedy reported a base salary of $190,000 as a doctor, plus benefits, and $14,000 in salary plus benefits from his work in Utah’s part-time legislature. Kennedy’s disclosure forms were first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune .

Romney, by contrast, earned more than $5.5 million over the past year, reporting six-figure speaking fees from banks and other corporations in Washington, New York, London, Brazil and elsewhere. The former head of the Boston venture capital firm Bain Capital reported investments worth between $67 million and $270 million.

The two men are competing for a pool of Republican primary voters more moderate than those who chose Kennedy at the convention.

The winner will likely go up against Democratic candidate Jenny Wilson, who has reported about $73,000 in income, primarily from her job as a Salt Lake County council member, and assets worth up to $2 million.

Kennedy, 49, has framed himself as an underdog taking on the “Romney machine” and has suggested the former Massachusetts governor is an interloper in Utah, a state in which he did not live full-time until after his failed 2012 presidential campaign.

Romney, though, stresses his deep family roots in the area that’s home to his Mormon faith. He argues his national profile will give Utah a stronger voice in Washington.

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