Thursday was the last day to file for candidacy in this year’s elections in Utah. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney stopped by the State Capitol Thursday morning to file. Romney is hoping to nab the Senate seat currently held by Orrin Hatch, who’s retiring.
He joins a crowded race — in all, more than 20 people from an assortment of political parties are running for the open seat, including a dozen Republicans.
They include state Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, St. George attorney Larry Meyers and a candidate dressed as Abraham Lincoln.
— Vote Utah (@ElectionsUtah) March 15, 2018
“Come on in, the water’s fine,” Romney said of the glut of GOP candidates challenging him. “We’ll enjoy the time together and I’ll see them on the trail."
If elected, Romney says he hopes to serve two or three terms in the Senate. He ruled out another presidential run in 2020.
“I’ve run for president before,” Romney told reporters after filing his election paperwork. “I think I’ve had enough swings at that ball. I’m going to be working very hard in the senate.”
Romney also called for more women to run for office and as delegates.
“Women who participate in the primary process are about half our voters. Women who participate in the caucuses are about half that show up,” he said. “But women who become delegates to the Republican convention only represent 20 or 25 percent.”
All four of Utah’s Republican congressional representatives have filed for re-election. Freshman Rep. John Curtis is being challenged again by former state lawmaker Chris Herrod, who beat Curtis at the GOP convention at the special election last year, but lost to Curtis in the primary. Curtis has chosen to take the dual path again this year.
The state legislature will get a shakeup this year after nearly a quarter of incumbents have announced their retirement, including power players like House Speaker Greg Hughes and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser.