It was probably just as well Conservative activists who had pushed out former Senator Bob Bennett during a Utah Convention were already plotting against Hatch.
This seat should be safely Republican, but the question will be which kind of Republican? Given how Utahans feel about Donald Trump, it is probably no wonder that Mitt Romney wants to run for the seat.
Senator Orrin Hatch has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat, according to five sources familiar with the situation. “Nothing has changed since The Atlantic published a carbon copy of this same story in April, likely with the same anonymous sources who were no more informed on the Senator’s thinking than they seem to be now,” said Dave Hansen, a spokesperson for Hatch. “Senator Hatch is focused on leading the Senate’s efforts to pass historic tax reform, confirming strong judges to courts around the country, and continuing to fight through the gridlock to deliver results for Utah. He has not made a final decision about whether or not to seek reelection, but plans to by the end of the year.” He declined to comment on what Hatch has told allies in private. A spokesperson for Romney declined to comment for this story.
Conservatives need someone who can help Mike Lee in the Senate and I’m not sure Romney is the guy. But I suspect he would be the front runner if he chose to throw his hat in the ring.