UT-Sen

Trump Moves to Block Romney from Senate

President Trump “is going all out to persuade seven-term Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to seek reelection — a push aimed in no small part at keeping the president’s longtime nemesis, Mitt Romney, out of the Senate. Romney has been preparing to run for Hatch’s seat on the long-held assumption that the 83-year-old would retire,” Politico reports.

“Yet Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is now refusing to rule out another campaign — a circumstance Romney’s infuriated inner circle blames squarely on the president. Their suspicions are warranted: Trump has sounded off to friends about how he doesn’t like the idea of a Senator Romney.”

Romney Moves Towards Senate Bid

Politico: “The former GOP presidential nominee is huddling with Utah’s class of GOP power brokers, contacting the state’s major political donors, and hitting the trail for candidates running in local races amid mounting speculation that the state’s longtime senator, Orrin Hatch, will retire. Romney is also raising money for House and Senate Republicans, winning him favor with GOP leaders ahead of a treacherous midterm election.”

“The Senate might seem like an unexpected landing place for the 70-year-old former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential candidate. Yet those who’ve spoken with Romney in recent days are convinced he’s prepared to jump in. After falling short in his quest for the White House and then being passed over by President Donald Trump for secretary of state, friends say Romney still has unquenched political ambitions.”

Hatch Tells Friends He Intends to Retire

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat,” The Atlantic reports.

“Sources close to both men said plans have already been set in motion for Hatch to retire and for Romney to run, but they cautioned that the timing of the announcements has not yet been finalized, and that either man could still change his mind. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because the plans are not yet public, and the subject is sensitive to Hatch.”

Utah Republican Mulls Challenge to Hatch

Boyd Matheson (R), a former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), is strongly considering a 2018 challenge to veteran GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – the latest in a string of potential primaries against sitting Republican senators, Politico reports.

“Matheson, a prominent conservative who currently runs the Salt Lake City-based Sutherland Institute think tank, would be a formidable contender should he decide to run. Matheson traveled to Washington last week, where he met with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Citizens United President David Bossie. Both have emerged as leaders of an intensifying conservative campaign to oust Republican incumbents and replace them with bomb-throwing outsiders – an effort that is aimed at undermining Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Romney Gearing Up for Possible Senate Bid

Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is preparing to run for Senate in 2018 if Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to retire.

“Hatch’s reticence to make a definitive announcement is preventing other candidates from getting in the race, but Romney has the financial resources to mount a campaign no matter when Hatch decides.”

Hatch Says Wife Doesn’t Want Him to Run Again

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told KUTV that he intends to run for re-election in 2018 but said his wife’s trepidation is giving him pause.

“The 83-year-old Hatch said he suspects he’ll need to decide before the end of the year, but said he’s not putting any hard timeline on it.”

Said Hatch: “Right now, I intend to run. But you know, Elaine is not real enthusiastic about it, which causes me to pause a little bit. But, I’m chairman of the finance committee, the most powerful committee in the whole Congress and we’re doing work that has never been done before and that needs to be done.”

Romney Exploring a Senate Bid from Utah

The Alantic: “According to six sources familiar with the situation, Romney has spent recent weeks actively discussing a potential 2018 Senate bid with a range of high-level Republicans in both Utah and Washington, and has privately signaled a growing interest in the idea. Romney, though, has made clear he would not pursue the seat without Hatch’s blessing.”

Hatch Will Run Again for Re-Election

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told CNN he “is planning to run for re-election next year, abandoning his plans to quit the chamber after four decades of service.”

“The Utah Republican — who promised in 2012 that his current term would be his last — said he has changed his mind at this time, partially because he’s been getting encouragement from President Donald Trump and top Republicans to run again.”

Huntsman Mulls Senate Bid In Utah

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) told Bloomberg that he’s weighing a run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, depending in part on whether fellow Republican Orrin Hatch decides to seek an eighth term.

Said Huntsman: “I’ve always said that I’ve got one more run left in our bones. And I don’t know what that will be. But I love this country.”