Utah Senator says he may forgo ’18 run if Mitt Romney runs for his seat

Mitt Romney.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Mitt Romney.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Sen. Orrin Hatch says he’s still considering running for his Utah Senate seat next year but might forgo a run if former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney jumped in.

Hatch told the National Journal on Tuesday that if he could get ‘‘a really outstanding person’’ to run for his seat, such as Romney, then he might step aside.

The senator says he’s mentioned it to Romney, who lives in Utah. Messages left with Romney’s representatives were not returned, but he told the Desert News last month that he may not yet be through with politics.


“I don’t have any predictions on what I might do. I’m not going to open a door, and I’m not going to close a door. All doors are open,” he told the paper in February, while throwing cold water on the idea of another national run.

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“I’m not looking forward to anything political at the national level,” he said.

Hatch said in 2012 that his current term would be his last, but he started reconsidering several years ago.

Hatch’s spokesman Matt Whitlock said many people are urging the senator to run again but his main priority is ensuring Utah residents ‘‘have the best seat at the table.’’

Christina Prignano of the Globe staff contributed to this report.