SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney has a guaranteed spot in Utah's Republican primary for U.S. Senate, even if he does not secure the party's support at an upcoming convention.

A Utah Elections Office spokesman said Wednesday the former presidential nominee has secured more than the 28,000 signatures necessary to appear on the June 26 primary ballot.

Gathering signatures is one of two ways to appear on the ballot.

Romney and 11 other GOP contenders will also seek the support of several thousand delegates at a party convention April 21.

Any candidate who wins at least 60 percent of the delegate votes is declared winner and advances to the primary. If no one reaches that threshold, the top two vote-getters advance.

Lee says none of Romney's opponents have yet submitted the necessary signatures.