The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is headquartered in Utah, has long relied on Hatch to serve as a representative and ambassador in Washington-a role that Romney views as important, and necessary.
Speculation about a Romney Senate bid has swirled since Hatch told the National Journal last week that he has "expressed interest" to Romney in having him seek his seat, and could step aside "if I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position".
Romney, who lost to President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, but he drew criticism when he courted the secretary of state position after the election. And as the first LDS presidential nominee, he unsurprisingly carried Utah with 73 percent of the vote.
Is former MA governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney thinking of taking Orrin Hatch's place in the Senate?
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The Atlantic first reported that Romney was considering a race for the Senate.
Nevertheless, sources close to Romney have said that he is strongly considering a bid, and has already held conversations with both Hatch and House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about his future prospects as a Senator. "Obviously, I'm an Orrin Hatch supporter".
Romney, who was in France for an event Thursday marking the completion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Paris France Temple, has had little to say since telling the Deseret News in February he wasn't ruling out another run for office. "Hatch and not make a move until he does", said Jason Perry, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics.
There's also the fact that former Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Romney rival, said that he was interested in the seat. "I think there are many that are watching very closely to see if there is an opportunity", Perry said. President Trump, in contrast, has only ever won 45.5% of the Beehive state. "You keep every option open, even if he is thinking in the back of his mind he might be done at the end of this term".