Mitt Romney, Massachusetts’ 70th governor and a former two-time Republican presidential contender, definitely plans to make run for the U.S. Senate seat Utah’s Orrin Hatch is vacating in November, according to a close friend.

Kem Gardner, a prominent Utah developer and close friend of Romney’s, apparently shared a text message from the 70-year-old moderate, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, saying, “I’m running.”

According to The Boston Globe, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert pressed Gardner, saying “we need to find somebody else to run,” if Romney was going to ultimately demur after months of speculation from politicos.

The text message was shared by Gardner to quell Herbert.

Related Story: Romney takes swipe at Trump over ‘s—hole’ comments, race relations

Trump carried Utah in the 2016 Presidential Election, but not by a huge majority. Voters in the heavily Mormon state, according to polls, have reservations about Trump’s often brazen language and hardline positions, among other things.

Political speculators think Romney could use the seat — which early polling indicates he would be favored to win — to contrast he and Trump’s vision of the modern Republican party and maintain his position as one of its leading voices, perhaps even for a future presidential run.


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