WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will run for a U.S. Senate seat representing Utah and plans to announce his bid online on Thursday, a source familiar with Romney’s plans said.
Romney will pledge to “bring Utah values to Washington, D.C.” and plans to run a very Utah-centric campaign, the source said on Wednesday.
His first campaign appearance will be on Friday in Provo, Utah, the source said.
Romney was the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, losing to Democratic incumbent Barack Obama in the election that year.
In the 2016 campaign, Romney decided not to seek the nomination again. When Donald Trump’s candidacy rose, Romney urged Republicans not to support Trump, an effort that fizzled with Trump winning the nomination.
Trump had considered Romney for the position of U.S. secretary of state, but picked former oil executive Rex Tillerson instead.
Trump had urged the current holder of the Utah Senate seat, Republican Orrin Hatch, to run for re-election, but Hatch opted not to do so, opening the door to Romney’s candidacy.
Romney, a wealthy former governor of Massachusetts, has homes in Utah and California.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Susan Thomas and Jonathan Oatis