Pouring even more salt into the wound was that Bennett did not even make it into the final round of voting.
Bennett was rejected in a second round, receiving only 26.59 percent of delegate votes. The two survivors of that round were entrepreneur Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee, who finished first and second, respectively.
Bridgewater just missed obtaining 60 percent of delegate votes in a third and final round of voting, which would have given him the nomination. Bridgewater had 57.3 percent of the vote, and Lee had 42.7 percent, so they will face each other in a June 22 primary.
"The political atmosphere obviously has been toxic. And it's very clear that some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic atmosphere," Bennett said. "But I wouldn't have cast any of them any differently, because I have always done the best I can to cast the votes that I think are best for the state and best for the country."