Former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, plans to enter the Senate race next year if Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) decides to retire. A spokesperson for Hatch said the lawmaker would make up his mind on his re-election prospects by December.
According to UtahPolicy.com, which made the announcement, people “close to Romney” said the 2012 GOP presidential nominee plans to run for Hatch’s seat if Hatch decides not to. The media outlet broke the news Monday.
If Hatch, 83, eyes re-election it would be for his eighth term. Romney reportedly wants to be the party’s frontrunner if he decides to enter the race. The two-time presidential candidate and lifelong Mormon is very popular in the Beehive State, which is home to one of the nation’s largest Mormon communities.
Hatch, on the other hand, claims that Romney told him he is not interested in his seat.
I’ve talked to Mitt Romney. He’s not going to run for this seat. I would be glad for him if he would,
The GOP senator told journalists in May.
Romney Loyalists May Be Behind the Report
The congressman’s office also dismissed the report that Romney may be planning to run. A Hatch spokesperson noted that this is the third or fourth report about Romney’s Senate bid, but there are no new sources to back it.
The spokesperson added that “nothing has changed” and that the senator remains focused on his job and would make an official announcement “by the end of the year.” Some analysts speculate that UtahPolicy.com’s report was the work of Romney loyalists who badly want the Republican to run for public office again, so they’re giving him some traction in Utah.
In Utah, the GOP and the party’s mega-donors don’t want Hatch re-elected next year, and Hatch once said that he would forgo re-election had he found a “really outstanding” successor. When someone brought up Romney, Hatch said he would be “perfect.”
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