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Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Utah GOP chairman: 'Never my intent' to disparage Romney

Utah GOP chairman: 'Never my intent' to disparage Romney

Rumours were swirling in Utah political circles and among the former governor's friends and aides that Romney was exhausted of playing the presidential also-ran - the GOP's answer to Walter Mondale, the former Democratic Vice President who was trounced by the late Ronald Reagan in 1984 by 512 electoral votes.

"Looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race", the 70-year-old businessman said in a Twitter post Feb. 1.

Former Republican nominee and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will restart his political career tomorrow, announcing on social media that he plans to seek the Utah Senate seat being vacated by Sen. He would have been up for re-election in November.

Romney, who was born in MI and served as governor of MA, moved to Utah in 2013 after his unsuccessful 2012 run against former President Obama. "We haven't spoken in the last few days, but if Mitt decides to run, he knows he'll have my support".

That was a decade after he helped turn around the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympics.

While his initial roll-out will be low key, Romney is expected to address Republican grassroots supporters Friday at the Utah County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner.

The 2012 GOP nominee is not expected to field much competition in the race, which is for the seat now occupied by Sen.

"I think there are areas where he can be helpful to the White House and there are always areas where he's going to disagree and he's going to be very clear and public about those disagreements", Madden added.

Other Utah Republicans have encouraged Romney to run. Sen.

Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney. I could have said, "Mitt, drop to your knees".

"There will be tension there I'm sure", Kevin Madden, a senior adviser and spokesman for Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, told ABC News of Romney's relationship with Trump should he succeed Hatch. Romney is all about legacy and ambition; so to allow a national defeat to be his last act as a politician is not the way Romney rolls.

If elected, Romney associates said he would operate in the Senate as an independent-minded lawmaker but would resist being labeled as a reliable Trump critic in the model of retiring Sen. "And how do you expect to represent Utah when you don't live here?"

"I can't think of a logical reason why he would do that", Mr. Hansen said. He also hired Salt Lake-based Y2 Analytics as his polling firm.

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