Conservative Republican Wins Utah Senate Seat

Lee easily defeated Democrat Sam Granato to win ousted GOP Sen. Bob Bennett's seat.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conservative Republican Mike Lee will be Utah's next U.S. senator.

Lee easily defeated Democrat Sam Granato on Tuesday to win the seat held by Republican Sen. Bob Bennett for the past 18 years.

Bennett failed to advance to the Republican primary when Lee and others said he wasn't conservative enough — a defeat that served as an early sign of the anti-incumbent anger in the 2010 elections.

Lee, a tea party favorite, has pledged to reign in government, keep children of illegal immigrants from U.S. citizenship and to repeal President Barack Obama's health care program.

He is a 39-year-old constitutional law attorney who has never run for office since he was Brigham Young University's student body president. Granato is a restaurateur and chairman of the state liquor board who said Lee was too extreme for Utah.