SALT LAKE CITY — Two of Mitt Romney’s closest friends said Tuesday there should be no doubt that he’s serious about running for the Senate, but nothing’s going to happen until Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, decides whether he’s retiring.

“I think at this point, Mitt is just waiting on the senator,” said Kem Gardner, a real estate developer who helped talk Romney into taking over the then-troubled 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City nearly two decades ago.

John Miller, another longtime friend who was a top fundraiser for Romney’s presidential bids, said he spoke to the 2012 Republican nominee for the White House on Monday about the Senate race.

“Is he going to do it? I think there’s a good chance. Could he change his mind? Yes,” Miller told the Deseret News. “He’s doing what he has to do, and that’s give it some serious consideration.”

Miller said, however, “Hatch has got to make a move, too.”

He declined to say if Romney would still be interested in the race if Hatch chooses to seek re-election to what would be an eighth term.

“That’s one question you’d better ask Gov. Romney,” Miller said.

Romney, who served as governor of Massachusetts but now calls Utah home, hasn’t had much to say about his political future since telling the Deseret News in February that “all doors are open” after mentioning the 2018 Senate race.

In September, Romney said “I’ve got nothing for you on that topic” when asked again about possibly running for Hatch’s seat.

Gardner told the Deseret News he believes Hatch wants to finish with tax reform efforts he and other Republicans are leading in Congress before making up his mind about whether to run again after 42 years in the Senate.

Romney, he said, is “just in kind of a holding pattern.”

Hatch’s decision likely will be made after Congress breaks for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, when “the senator will have a chance to sit down and decide whether he wants to run again, and Mitt will decide what he’s doing,” he said.

Romney is traveling through the Thanksgiving holidays, which he’ll spend with his children in California, Gardner said, and is willing to wait “out of courtesy” so Hatch doesn’t feel pressured to announce his plans.

“Clearly, there’s a lot of people that are encouraging him to run,” Gardner …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

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Romney Senate bid in ‘holding pattern’ until Hatch decides whether he’s retiring

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