“I can see why he might not want to do it, but I can also see why if he did it, it would be a great thing for America.”
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is deciding whether to seek another term in the Senate. First elected to the Senate in 1977, Hatch, 83, currently serves as the President pro tempore – the second highest-ranking official in that body.
Hatch said in 2012 that his reelection that year would be his final campaign. But he indicated earlier this month he had changed his plans.
“I’m planning on [running] right now,” he said during an interview on CNN. “That’s what my current plans are.”
He said both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been encouraging him to run.
Should he decide not to run, Hatch offered up a surprising potential replacement: former Gov. Mitt Romney, who is a part-time Utah resident.
Hatch pointed to Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, when asked if he had anyone in mind to replace him.
“I’ve expressed interest to him,” he responded. “I can see why he might not want to do it, but I can also see why if he did it, it would be a great thing for America.”
It’s unclear whether Romney, a two time presidential candidate, would be interested in a legislative role, but he did address the possibility in February.
“I don’t have any predictions on what I might do. I’m not going to open a door and I’m not going to close a door. All doors are open,” Romney said after mentioning the 2018 Senate race.
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