Mitt Romney, a long time political favorite in Utah, announced last week that his future would include a campaign for the Utah Senate seat being vacated by Senator Orrin Hatch. Previously the 2012 Republican Party nominee for President, Romney also served as the Governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007.
Sending out the announcement on social media, Romney said he is running for United States Senate to serve the people of Utah. He believes that “Utah is admired not only for its beauty but the character of its people. Utahns are known for hard work, innovation, and our can-do pioneering spirit. But more than these, we are known as people who serve, who care, and who rise to any occasion… I believe I can help bring Utah’s values and Utah’s lessons to Washington.”
Mary Bennett, director of the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service and Southern Utah University’s expert on Utah politics, sees this as “an exciting political year for Utah, distinguished by the rare statewide open race for the United States Senate. Utah has changed substantially since the last open Senate race. Today, two of the state’s top three fastest growing counties are in southern Utah.”
“Governor Romney’s candidacy for US Senate will likely produce continued national media coverage throughout the year, given his previous speeches about and interactions with President Trump.”
President Trump and Romney have had “rollercoaster relationship” in past years and President Trump’s endorsement of Romney’s Senate campaign may have come as a surprise. Through Twitter, President Trump endorsed Romney on February 19, saying “he will make a great Senator and worthy successor to Orrin Hatch and has my full support and endorsement!”
In reply, Romney thanked the President for his support and said: “I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”
Bennett and the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service look forward to welcoming all US Senate candidates to campus to meet students, witness the beauty of the University of the Parks, and learn about the great economic potential and workforce that resides in Southern Utah.
Bennett’s professional experience spans over 25 years in a range of Washington, DC institutions including the US House of Representatives, and the US Senate. She is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.
Mary Bennett Director of the Leavitt Center for Politics
Specializing in U.S. campaigns and elections, government relations, and public policy and advocacy