February 1, 2018 / 8:27 PM / 2 months ago

Romney will announce Feb. 15 whether he will run for Senate

(Reuters) - Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said on Thursday he would announce on Feb. 15 whether he will seek a U.S. Senate seat in Utah.

FILE PHOTO: Former Republican U.S. presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivers a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo

If he decides to mount a campaign, Romney, who gained prominence as head of the organizing committee for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, is expected to be the front-runner in the November election.

“Looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race,” the 70-year-old businessman and former Massachusetts governor said in a Twitter post.

Romney, who lost the 2012 U.S. presidential race to Democrat Barack Obama, has been considering a run for the Senate seat from Utah, a Republican-dominated state where he has a home.

The race is to succeed Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who said last month he would retire at the end of his term.

President Donald Trump had urged Hatch to run again in an apparent attempt to head off Romney, who initially opposed Trump’s presidential candidacy and who could act as a political thorn in the side of his administration.

Romney had successful treatment for prostate cancer in 2017, a source close to him said in January.

Reporting by Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech and Peter Cooney

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