Mitt Romney to announce Senate run Friday

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2016, file photo, Mitt Romney talks with reporters after eating dinner with then President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges restaurant in New York. Romney is considering a new career in Congress. Those who know the 70-year-old former Republican presidential nominee best expect him to announce plans to seek a suddenly vacant Utah Senate seat. Incumbent Orrin Hatch announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election this fall.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) Mitt Romney will announce Friday morning that he will run for the U.S. Senate, 2News has learned from a source close to the campaign.

The seat is currently held by long-time Sen. Orrin Hatch, who said his current term will be his last.

Romney said Wednesday on Twitter that he would not make an expected announcement Thursday out of respect of the 17 people and others injured at a mass shooting in a Florida school.

Romney is a former presidential candidate and helped with the 2012 Olympics in Salt Lake City, remembered by many as the man who helped turned the games around after there were scandals and concerns about costs.

The former Massachusetts governor moved to Utah after losing the 2012 presidential election to President Obama and it is believed he will be an overwhelming favorite to win the seat.

Reports surfaced in December that President Donald Trump had spoken to Mitt Romney, who has previously said he would consider a run for Senate if Hatch retired in 2018.

During his visit to Utah in December, President Trump urged Hatch to continue his service in the Senate.

But there has been some criticism of Romney from the Republican ranks in Utah.

Utah GOP chair Rob Anderson said he regretted his criticism of Romney when he told the Salt Lake Tribune:

Let's face it, Mitt Romney doesn't live here, his kids weren't born here, he doesn't shop here.

He drew comparisons between Romney and Hillary Clinton, who spent little time in New York before her campaign there for U.S. Senate..

He said he regrets criticizing Romney.

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