Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is reportedly considering a run for Senate, if current Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) were to retire. Hatch, who is 83 years old, has represented Utah in the Senate since 1977, and is up for reelection in 2018. He has not yet announced if he will retire or if he will seek another term, but he has said before that he plans on staying in the Senate as long as he is able to.
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.
Hatch's reticence to make a definitive announcement is presenting other candidates from getting in the race, but Romney has the financial resources to mount a campaign no matter when Hatch decides.
If Romney were to be elected to the Senate, it could set up an interesting showdown between himself and the president.
Romney was publicly critical of President Donald Trump during the primary campaign, and many people were hoping he'd throw together a last-minute run for the Republican nomination. After the election, Trump and Romney met for dinner, leading to this not-at-all awkward photograph, and Romney's name was in the mix for secretary of state. Since then, Romney has continued to voice his disapproval of Trump, in particular to his response to the Charlottesville protests.