Is Mitt Romney Running For Senate? Orrin Hatch's Seat Is Up For Grabs

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After more than 40 years, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch of the Republican party is set to end his term. The GOP politician had been working in the Senate since 1977, which made him America's Republican with the longest Senate career. With the 83-year-old's career coming to an end, people are wondering who will be the state's next senator — and a lot of the political focus is on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. So, will Romney run for the Senate seat? There's a possibility that he just might.

There is one clue pointing to the probability of Romney running for the seat —and that's Hatch's support for him. Hatch has openly praised Romney and said he would be "perfect" for the position. The senior Republican made his views clear in a March interview published in The National Journal (behind paywall). Hatch told the publication about how he encouraged Romney to run for the seat.

Hatch announced his decision not to run for re-election on Tuesday in a Twitter video. After lauding the American dream of growing up poor and ultimately becoming an American senator, Hatch said:

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On Facebook, Romney praised Hatch's service but he didn't indicate any possibility of running for the Senate seat. Romney said:

Romney might run for the Senate seat, given his own political past and especially the apparent support he enjoys in Utah, according to NPR's analysis. The former Massachusetts governor ran for president in 2012, but ultimately lost the race to Democratic candidate Barack Obama. But in spite of his failure in 2012, Romney could still win Utah in the future if he competes for the coveted title of senator. In this particular state, Romney had overwhelming support from locals with 73 percent of the Utahn vote.

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However, this is so far merely speculation, as there's no confirmation from Romney's end. The Republican has yet to say anything about the possibility of running for Senate. But if he does run, he could be a major skeptic against the president, Donald Trump.

In 2016, Romney called Trump "a phony, [and] a fraud":

With an openly critical view of Trump like this, Romney's possible future presence in the Senate could turn out to be a thorn in the president's side.