Mitt Romney wants to bring Utah values to Washington by running for Utah Senate

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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at the 2015 UVU commencement ceremony. (Photo by Alisha Gallagher)

Mitt Romney officially announced he will run for the Utah Senate in a video early Friday morning.

“Utah is a better model for Washington than Washington is for Utah,” Romney said in the video.

Romney expressed his desire to bring Utah values to Washington.

“Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington,” Romney said in a video. “Utah has balanced its budgets, Washington is buried in debt. Utah exports more abroad than it imports. Washington has that backwards. Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world; Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion. And on Utah’s capitol hill, people treat each other with respect.”

Romney is running for the seat that will be left vacant by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, the nation’s longest-serving Republican senator. Hatch announced his retirement in January.

Hatch responded to Romney’s decision to run on Twitter: “I’m thrilled Mitt has decided to run. His talent and drive as a public servant will ensure Utah maintains a strong seat at the table.”

After losing the presidential bid to then-President Barack Obama in 2012, Romney took a break from the national spotlight. During the 2012 elections, Romney received 73 percent of the vote in Utah. In the end, Romney lost the election with 48 percent of the popular vote and 2016 electoral votes. Obama received 332 electoral votes to win the election.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who was Romney’s 2012 running mate, touted his support in a statement Friday morning.

“Our party and our country are always better off when Mitt is engaged,” Ryan said, “and I know that he will put his unparalleled experience, conservative leadership and lifetime of service to work for Utah in the U.S. Senate.”

In his video message, Romney said he spent the past five years returning to his business, spending time with his family and campaigning for other Republican leaders. Romney also adamantly spoken against electing President Donald Trump in Utah prior to the the 2016 election.

“If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished,” Romney said at his speech given at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Center in March 2016.

Since Mr. Trump’s election, Romney has censured the president on social media on multiple occasions.

Romney is scheduled to speak at the Utah County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Provo Friday evening.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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