OREM -- U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah defended his use of earmarks while debating seven challengers from within his own Republican party.
Bennett is seeking a fourth term, but is facing a wave of opposition from his right.
Bennett, his seven GOP challengers and a Democratic candidate for Senate debated Friday in front of more than 100 delegates and members of the public in a packed library room at Utah Valley University in Orem.
In Utah, about 3,500 delegates to the state convention choose the party's nominee. Only candidates who fail to get 60 percent of delegate votes are forced into a primary.
Bennett's opponents hope to defeat him at the state convention, but Bennett believes he will qualify for the June primary.