According to a new report, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney—a two-time GOP presidential candidate—has decided to run for the Senate if Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) decides to retire.
UtahPolicy.com reported Monday morning:
Sources close to Romney say the two-time presidential candidate will jump into the 2018 Utah Senate scrum if Hatch opts not to.
So far, Hatch has not made up his mind as to whether he'll run for an eighth term in 2018. He has previously said he was planning on running as long as his and his wife's health holds up.
Dave Hansen, a longtime political advisor to Hatch, told UtahPolicy.com last month that he didn't expect Hatch to decide on his political future until October. However, sources now tell UtahPolicy.com that Hatch may not make up his mind until December.
The report suggests Hatch may be holding off an announcement as part of a GOP establishment effort to keep challengers to Romney from announcing, noting that it hampers the fundraising abilities of those without a significant campaign war chest. In April, Hatch said he would step aside if an “outstanding person”—specifying Romney by name—were to run for the seat he currently holds.
Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, is currently fourth in line to the presidency as Senate President Pro-Tempore behind President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). He is up for re-election in 2018.