Former Governor of Massachusetts and former Republican candidate for president in 2012 Mitt Romney, has announced a bid for the Utah Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. Romney announced the run in a Tweet Friday morning.
I am running for United States Senate to serve the people of Utah and bring Utah’s values to Washington. https://t.co/TDkas6gD2p
Romney portrayed his candidacy as one where his Midwestern-Utah values could be a cure for some of what ails Washington, D.C. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington. Utah has balanced its budgets, Washington is buried in debt. Utah exports more abroad than it imports – Washington has that backwards,” Romney said in his announcement video.
In a possible effort to differentiate himself from President Donald Trump, Romney also touched on immigration, touting the message of inclusion his state has had for newly-arrived immigrants. “Utah welcomes legal immigrants from all over the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion,” he said.
Romney’s announcement had been expected as neither he nor anyone close to his camp had done much to tamp down rumors that swirled around a possible candidacy since Hatch’s retirement was announced. Romney was a vocal critic of President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election calling him a “phony” and a “fraud.” President Trump briefly considered Romney for Secretary of State before deciding on current secretary Rex Tillerson.
Romney has deep ties to the state of Utah, through his Mormon faith. He is also widely credited with turning around the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, that because of scandal, were on the brink of bankruptcy. His ties to the state as well as his name recognition make him a heavy favorite in the race.