Utah Republicans encouraging Romney to run for Hatch's seat

Published on November 13, 2017 at 04:10PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A group of Utah Republicans is mounting a public campaign to urge former presidential candidate Mitt Romney to run for a U.S. Senate seat currently held by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch.

Hatch says he hasn’t decided whether he’s running for re-election next year.

State Sen. Dan Hemmert said Monday that he started a Recruit Romney political action committee to encourage Romney to run regardless of whether Hatch seeks re-election in 2018.

Hemmert also says his effort is trying to push back against former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s efforts to recruit candidates to unseat Senate Republicans like Hatch. Hemmert says Utah should decide who its candidate will be.

Romney has declined to say if he’ll run.

The 70-year-old now lives in Utah, where he led a turnaround of the scandal-plagued 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.