WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, will serve as a Senate liaison for Mitt Romney's presidential bid, according to his presidential exploratory committee.

Bennett will be a co-liaison with Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and the two will head Romney's outreach to other senators. Romney will formally announce his candidacy Tuesday in Dearborn, Mich., according to his staff.

"Throughout their years of service, they have compiled strong conservative records and have accomplished much for the people of their states and their nation," Romney said of Bennett and Craig. "Both men have a unique perspective of the new generation of challenges confronting our nation. I look forward to working with them to find the solutions needed to ensure that our country remains a strong world leader."

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has also announced his support of Romney.

The Senate is crowded with its own set of presidential hopefuls and, so far, likely Republican candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona leads with Senate supporters, based on tracking by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper. McCain has six of his fellow senators behind him, although Romney has more members on his team on the House side than McCain.

In addition to McCain, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, also wants the Republican nomination. Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.; and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., are all in various stages of getting ready to run for the Democratic nomination.

John Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina and former Democratic vice presidential nominee, is also running.

Bennett is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as is Romney — a topic that is bound to come up during the presidential campaign. Craig is Methodist, according to congressional biographies. But he represents a state that also has a large LDS population.


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