You may see former presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina, and Jon Huntsman on your ballot for the 2018 Senate race.
Fiorina announced she may challenge Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, while Romney has recently said he isn’t ruling out the option in Utah, where GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch has been elected for seven terms. Huntsman, a GOP presidential contender in 2012, and Evan McMullin, who ran in 2016 as an Independent, may also contend for Hatch’s seat if he retires, The Hill reports.
“Whether Senator Hatch is in or out, there are candidates who are scoping out opportunity,” said Damon Cann, a political science professor at Utah State University. “And, for a number of them, I think they will run whether Hatch stays in or out of the race.”
Hatch is the longest serving GOP senator in history and, reportedly, has said he may run for an eighth term.
A poll conducted by a Utah newspaper owned by the Huntsman family said that 80 percent of Utah voters do not think Hatch should run in 2018.
“If Trump actually loses popularity in the state of Utah, which is a hard thing to gauge, that could be a problem for Hatch and be helpful for McMullin,” said Jim Curry, an assistant political science professor at the University of Utah.
According to The Hill, McMullin wanted to be an alternative option for voters that did not like Hillary or Trump. As for Virginia, Fiorina recently told a radio station there that she plans to run against Kaine.
“After she ended her presidential campaign, she has been making rounds across the state and helping other candidates,” a Virginia political operative said. “She’s getting her name out to the grassroots folks that would be helpful for her to propel her in the primary.”
GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock may also run in Virginia.
H/T: The Hill
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