Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will run for U.S. Senate in 2018 if Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) retires, according to a report on UtahPolicy.com (UP).
Citing “sources close to Romney,” UP says that while Hatch hasn’t fully decided whether to seek an eighth term in the Senate, Romney is ready to step up to the plate.
Romney is a two-time presidential candidate, having run in the primaries in 2008 against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and, in 2012, having led the Republican ticket as their candidate against Barack Obama.
According to a UP poll, Romney might easily win in a Senate race against Democratic challenger Jenny Wilson.
“Romney pulls 64% of the vote to Wilson’s 26%,” UP reports.
Hatch previously said he would seek another term so long as his and his wife’s health holds up. His long-time political advisor, Dave Hansen, told UP that Hatch may not fully decide on the matter until October, and some sources reportedly said the decision won’t come until December.
With Hatch hesitating on making a decision, other candidates have yet to declare themselves. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah, 2nd District) has indicated his interest, but he, too, is waiting on Hatch’s decision. The UP poll shows Stewart would only be ahead of Wilson 34-30, but Stewart isn’t as familiar to Utah voters as is Romney.
Hatch has also indicated he would be willing to step aside if an “outstanding person” like Mitt Romney were to show interest in his seat, and with an estimated net worth in the hundreds of millions, Romney is in a financial position to mount a campaign whenever Hatch makes his decision.
Romney, who failed to become the president twice, was critical of President Trump in August. While President Trump made it clear that he condemns all hates groups, from Nazis and the KKK to Black Lives Matter and Antifa, Romney didn’t agree with his comments that “many sides” were responsible for the violent eruption between protesters in Charlottesville, Va., earlier that month.
Romney posted the following message on his Facebook page:
“I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president’s Charlottesville statements. Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn’t mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.”
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