The Official Word Is Here On Mitt Romney’s Rumored Senate Run

The AP reported on Wednesday that former presidential candidate Mitt Romney will officially launch his run for the Senate in Utah on Thursday of this week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The announcement will come via the release of an online video on Thursday.

Check it out:

Those with knowledge of the plans spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and one of the most famous Mormons, is expected to easily win the Senate seat in Utah, which is heavily Mormon.

The 70-year-old Republican moved to Utah after losing the 2012 presidential election and is very popular in the state. He helped turn around the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympics and has earned broad respect in the state.

Romney will replace longtime Republican congressman Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement late last year. Hatch is currently the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history.

Here’s more:

If he becomes Utah’s next senator, some supporters hope the vocal critic of President Donald Trump could serve as a political and moral counterweight to a president they see as divisive, erratic and undignified.

He does not address Trump directly in the announcement video, however. In fact, he plans to maintain a hyper-local focus on Utah voters during the campaign. 

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During the 2016 presidential election, Romney gave a scathing speech in which he called Trump “a phony” who is “playing the American public for suckers” and a man who was unfit to be president.

He softened his stance after Trump won the presidency and put himself forward as a candidate for secretary of state. But he resumed his criticism last year, calling out the president for blaming “both sides” following a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Utah’s GOP chair reacted strongly to the news: