2018-01-03 / Nation/World

Opportunity in Utah: Mitt Romney eyes political resurgence

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — He has already made a fortune in business, managed an Olympics, served as governor and secured a presidential nomination. Now, Mitt Romney, at 70 years old, is considering a new career in Congress.

Those who know Romney best expect him to announce plans in the coming weeks to seek a suddenly vacant Utah Senate seat. Such a decision would mark an extraordinary resurgence for a Republican leader who had faded from the national spotlight after two failed White House bids and an unsuccessful push to block President Donald Trump's rise to power.

While Romney has softened his anti-Trump rhetoric over the last year, longtime associates suggest the former Massachusetts governor is eager to bring a new moral conscience to the Republican Party in Washington.

“Obviously, he's ambitious. But he's ambitious for the right reason: to serve,” said former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath, a longtime Romney friend. “Mitt Romney is a grown-up voice that America needs. He will add dignity and common sense.”

Romney's closest political allies were not given advance notice of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch's announcement Tuesday that he would not seek re-election this fall, but the decision was not a surprise.

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