On Tuesday, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that he will not be running for re-election in the upcoming midterm elections, and that he will be retiring from public office. Amidst the conversation and flurry of news coverage that emerged from the announcement, former presidential nominee Mitt Romney has seemingly set his sights on the open seat, as indicated by his Twitter account. Although he has not formally announced his bid for the seat, the former Massachusetts governor changed his location on the social media platform from the aforementioned state, to Holladay, Utah, where he owns a home.
Sahil Kapur, a reporter for Bloomberg, was the first to notice the location change on Romney’s Twitter profile.
First screenshot: 3:12 PM EST today
Second screenshot: 5:45 PM EST today
See if you can spot the difference. pic.twitter.com/OuxM7sc2cd
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 2, 2018
Shortly after, Romney posted a tweet thanking Hatch for his service in public office for over forty years, releasing a short statement on his Facebook page in regards to the senator’s coming absence, and wishing Hatch prosperity in future endeavors.
I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation. Read my full statement: https://t.co/YwjUpjez5y
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) January 2, 2018
The announcement from Hatch, 83, came early on Tuesday, claiming that his work in public office would come to an end in the upcoming elections, despite the fact that he had hinted at the possibility of running for re-election in the weeks prior to the announcement.
It has been reported that Romney met with top Senate Republicans in recent weeks, shedding light on the potential for a Senate run in 2018. Although there has been no public declaration of Romney’s intent to run for Hatch’s vacated seat, recent events may provide an opportunity for the former presidential nominee to return to public office.
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