WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who spent millions of dollars on the Iowa Straw Poll four years ago, will not participate this year, his campaign said.
Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades said Thursday the Republican presidential hopeful will avoid all straw polls, The Washington Post reported.
"We respect the straw poll process. In the last presidential campaign, we were both strengthened as an organization and learned some important lessons by participating in them," Rhoades said in a statement. "This time we will focus our energies and resources on winning primaries and caucuses."
Romney won the Iowa Straw Poll in 2007 but the runner-up, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, won the Iowa Caucuses.
Brian Kennedy, a former state chairman who is advising the Romney campaign in Iowa, said Romney is not ceding the state. He said Romney will participate in a debate with other candidates two days before the straw vote.