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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – It looks like Mitt Romney may be considering a new career in Congress.
Those who know the 70-year-old former Republican presidential nominee expect him to announce plans to seek a suddenly vacant Utah Senate seat.
Incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch announced on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election this fall.
“Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves,” said Hatch in a video posted on Twitter.
The gloves where a reference to his early days as an amateur boxer as he revealed his plans to leave the political ring.
“After much prayer and discussion with family and friends I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term,” he said.
As Chair of the Finance Committee, Hatch spearheaded last month’s passage of the GOP tax cut plan. He was also one of the earliest senior Republicans to support Donald Trump in his presidential run.
Trump, who is no fan of Romney, had urged Hatch to stay in the Senate for an eighth term.
Trump once had the respect for Romney and at one point even considered him for Secretary of State. But their relationship became rocky after Romney’s frequent critiques of him.
In August, Romney urged the president to apologize for his response to the deadly Charlottesville protests in which he said there was “blame on both sides.
Romney posted on Facebook that Trump’s words “caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn.”
While Romney has not talked about his plans, on his Twitter profile he changed his home base from Massachusetts to Holladay, Utah after Hatch’s retirement announcement.
A decision by Romney to run would mark an extraordinary resurgence for a GOP leader who had faded from the spotlight after two failed White House bids and an unsuccessful push to block President Trump’s rise.
Longtime associates suggest Romney is eager to bring a new moral conscience to the GOP. Should he run, Romney is not expected to face significant resistance in Utah’s GOP primary contest or in the November general election.