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He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts but lost to incumbent Ted Kennedy. Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and helped turn the troubled Games into a financial success.
Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to serve as the President and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee
In 2002, Republican Acting Governor Jane Swift's administration was plagued by political missteps and personal scandals. Many Republicans viewed her as a liability and considered her unable to win a general election against a Democrat. Prominent GOP activists campaigned to persuade Romney to run for governor. One poll taken at that time showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points. In March 2002, Swift decided not to seek her party's nomination, and so Romney was unopposed in the Republican party primary. Massachusetts Democratic Party officials contested Romney's eligibility to run for governor, citing residency issues involving Romney's time in Utah as president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. In June 2002, the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission unanimously ruled that Romney was eligible to run for office.
Democrats had argued that the way Mr. Romney filed his taxes and other decisions he made while in Utah violated the constitutional requirement that a candidate for governor be a legal resident of Massachusetts for seven years before an election. In 1999 and 2000, Mr. Romney paid state taxes as a Utah resident and as either a part-time resident or a nonresident of Massachusetts. He also received a $54,500 property tax break for a home in Park City, Utah, a discount for people who claim a primary residence in Utah. The Democrats also pointed out that Mr. Romney had obtained a Utah driver's license and had bank statements and checks with his Utah address on them. Until early June, Mr. Romney said that he had paid his taxes as a Massachusetts resident while in Utah. Later he acknowledged that in April, after deciding to run for governor, he amended his 1999 and 2000 tax returns to say he was really a Massachusetts resident. Mr. Romney told the Ballot Law Commission that the mistake had been called to his attention late last year and that efforts to amend the returns were under way before he became a candidate. He suggested that his accountants had made an inadvertent filing mistake, which he did not notice at the time.
Watching from the sidelines, Romney's campaign spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, immediately grabbed the microphones. "Our understanding is that there was a clerical error made by the county assessor's office in Utah. If they determine that additional monies are owed, Mitt will be happy to write a check," Fehrnstrom said. Read more: www.wmur.com...
Noting that Romney continues to claim he did not know about his $54,000 Utah tax break, Durbin said: "Why did the Deseret News of Utah report that more than two years ago, Mitt Romney personally told them that he declared Utah as his primary residence for tax purposes?"
SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah newspaper is fighting a subpoena the Massachusetts Democratic Party plans to serve on a staff writer who reported that Mitt Romney declared himself a Utah resident.
Roche is being asked to testify about the accuracy of an April 11, 2000 story that said Romney "has declared his Deer Valley home his primary residence for tax purposes."