Two-time presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reportedly plans to run for Senate in 2018 if Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch retires.
Romney has yet to publicly commit to a Senate run, but he has reportedly decided to run in the event that Hatch steps down after his seventh term, two sources close to Romney told Utah Policy.
Hatch, 83, remains undecided about his future political career, but has said that he will run for his eighth term contingent on the continued good health of himself and his wife. Hatch likely won’t make a final decision on whether to run in 2018 until December, effectively preventing a field of challengers from assembling, according to Utah Policy.
While Hatch hasn’t made a final determination on the 2018 race, he indicated in March he would be willing to step aside if an “outstanding person” such as Romney were to run.
Romney hinted at a Senate run earlier this year, but refused to commit to anything.
“I don’t have any predictions on what I might do. I’m not going to open a door and I’m not going to close a door. All doors are open,” Romney said in a February interview after mentioning the 2018 Senate race.
“I’m not looking forward to anything political at the national level,” Romney said. “We’ve got some races coming up here in Utah that are going to be interesting. We’ll see what happens on that front.”
GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah has also expressed interest in making a 2018 Senate run, but polling suggests that Romney is better positioned to replace Hatch.
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