The Atlantic

Senator Mitt Romney?

The former Republican presidential nominee, and leading critic of Donald Trump, is exploring a 2018 bid in Utah.
Source: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Republican leaders and high-powered donors in Utah are waging a quiet but concerted campaign to convince 83-year-old incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch not to seek reelection next year—and now, they may have found a successor. Mitt Romney, the one-time presidential nominee and leading Trump critic, is exploring a run for Hatch’s Senate seat.

According to six sources familiar with the situation, Romney has spent recent weeks actively discussing a potential 2018 Senate bid with a range of high-level Republicans in both Utah and Washington, and has privately signaled a growing interest in the idea. Romney, though, has made clear he would not pursue the seat without Hatch’s blessing.

Hatch, who has served in the Senate for more than four decades, seemed to signal a willingness to step aside during an interview last week with National Journal’s Alex Rogers. “If I could get a really outstanding person to run

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