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Report: Mitt Romney likely to run for a Senate seat in Utah

US Senate hopeful Mitt Romney, a Republican, promised to repeal Obamacare and stop massive spending if he is elected to a U.S. Senate seat in November. He made the comments during a Republican nominating convention Saturday near Salt Lake City in Utah. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney has yet to officially announce his run for a Utah Senate seat, but he is already browsing for a campaign headquarters and assembling a team, the Deseret News in Salt Lake City reports.

The revelation came from one of Romney's longtime friends.

"He's not announcing until he's in a position to announce," Kem Gardner, a real estate developer and friend of Romney, told the Deseret News. "I think he wants to run, but he wants to be prepared to run."

When is a decision expected?

An official announcement from Romney could come before the end of this month, Gardner said. According to the report, Romney will seek the seat now held by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican. Hatch announced his retirement earlier this month.

The New York Times reported that Romney's candidacy appears inevitable. But how it might proceed is uncertain:

"His yet-to-be-declared candidacy is already highlighting the enduring fractures over President Trump in this heavily Mormon state, where voters have long been uneasy with Mr. Trump’s conduct. At issue is whether Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, should be an overt check on the president, and even use a Senate platform to mount his own White House comeback, or act as an ally and retain access to Mr. Trump the way Mr. Hatch has done."

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox told The Times that Romney would be a formidable contender in the Senate race.

“All-American family, all-American business acumen, elected governor, ran for president in a respectful way,” Cox said.

Romney's roots in Utah's history reach far back.

"The Romney ancestors were part of the story, back to 1837, when a carpenter named Miles Archibald Romney heard a missionary tell the story of Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founding prophet," The Times reported.

What is his track record?

Romney ran in the 2008 presidential primary against Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), who was eventually named as the GOP nominee. Romney also made a strong run against former President Barack Obama in 2012.

The Deseret News predicts Romney is not likely to have significant Republican opposition in Utah, where he has lived for several years.

Romney served one term as governor in Massachusets in 2002. In 1994, Romney was unsuccessful in a U.S. Senate campaign against Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy (D).

His wife, Ann, is urging her husband to run for the Senate, according to published reports.

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