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Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Friday his plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah.
Rumors swirled that Romney would announce his candidacy after Sen. Orrin Hatch, who currently holds the Senate seat, said last month that he would not run for re-election in November.
“I have decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I can help bring Utah’s values and Utah’s lessons to Washington,” Romney said in a video announcing his decision to run. “Utah is a better model for Washington than Washington is for Utah.”
In a statement obtained by Politico, officials with Romney’s campaign said he plans to visit all of Utah’s counties in the coming months.
Romney has been a frequent and vocal critic of President Donald Trump, despite the fact that the president once considered Romney a candidate to serve as his secretary of state.
He called Trump a “phony” and “a fraud” during a speech in Utah during the presidential campaign.
"His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney said in March 2016. "He's playing members of the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat."
Romney is expected to win the Senate race due to his popularity among Utah voters, according to CNN. Romney attended Brigham Young University and has deep connections to the Mormon church.