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Mitt Romney appears a shoo-in for Utah's Senate seat. The question is how he'd handle Trump


I don’t think [Utah voters] want to see Mitt Romney go back there and be the strident leader of any opposition. — GOP strategist Jeff Hartley Romney, 70, a former Massachusetts governor who keeps two homes in Utah, has yet to declare his intentions ...


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Politics Mitt Romney appears a shoo-in for Utah's Senate seatThe question is how he'd handle Trump Drew Angerer / AFP/Getty Images President Trump considered Mitt Romney for secretary of State -- or appeared to -- summoning him for a postelection dinner interview in Manhattan. President Trump considered Mitt Romney for secretary of State -- or appeared to -- summoning him for a postelection dinner interview in Manhattan(Drew Angerer / AFP/Getty Images) Mark ZBarabakContact Reporter In great likelihood, Utah will have a new U.Ssenator next year by the name of Mitt Romney.The question isn’t why so many eagerly embrace the peripatetic former presidential hopeful, who grew up in Michigan and made his public life in MassachusettsHe’s the closest thing possible to a native son who wasn’t actually born on Utah soil. “There’s a very strong tribal pull to the Republican Party that has many loyal to the president,” said Jim Bennett, whose father and grandfather — both members of the GOP — represented Utah in the Senate for a combined 42 yearsBennett quit the party when Trump became its White House nominee.Anticipating a Romney candidacy, Bennett suggested that “there is a large contingent of the electorate that wants him to go back to Washington and be that thorn in the side of the Trump administration.”“The fact [that Trump’s] capable of starting a nuclear war on Twitter,” Bennett said, “far outweighs anything positive he might achieve.”But Jeff Hartley, a longtime GOP strategist, said many Utah voters are quite pleased with Trump’s policies, high among them the recently enacted tax cut, even if they sometimes find his personal behavior repugnant. “I don’t think they want to see Mitt Romney go back there and be the strident leader of any opposition,” Hartley said“They’ll want him to disagree on some issues but agree on a lot of other issues.” I don’t think [Utah voters] want to see Mitt Romney go back there and be the strident leader of any opposition. — GOP strategist Jeff Hartley Romney, 70, a former Massachusetts governor who keeps two homes in Utah, has yet to declare his intentions; some close to him say there is a chance he may yet opt against returning to electoral politics.Most, though, consider it a foregone conclusion Romney will seek the Senate seat held by the retiring Republican Orrin GHatchAnd should he run, it seems a virtual certainty he will win.“He understands the Washington political arena,” said Jack Sturgeon, 60, a military recruiting officer and enthusiastic Romney backer in Lehi, a fast-growing bedroom community and tech hub about half an hour south of downtown Salt Lake City“Hatch has a great reputation, but it took years for him to build upRomney already has the contacts and the reputation.” Mark ZBarabak/Los Angeles Times Jack Sturgeon said Romney wouldn't have to start from scratch like others who might be elected Utah senator. Jack Sturgeon said Romney wouldn't have to start from scratch like others who might be elected Utah senator(Mark ZBarabak/Los Angeles Times) Mark ZBarabak/Los Angeles Times Patricia Hall thinks Utah SenOrrin Hatch has been a bit too "chummy" with President Trump. Patricia Hall thinks Utah SenOrrin Hatch has been a bit too "chummy" with President Trump(Mark ZBarabak/Los Angeles Times) Mark ZBarabak/Los Angeles Times Marty Przybyla said Romney's criticisms of Trump show he's too much a part of the GOP establishment. Marty Przybyla said Romney's criticisms of Trump show he's too much a part of the GOP establishment(Mark ZBarabak/Los Angeles Times) Romney himself has kept mum, issuing only a brief statement thanking Hatch for his service to Utah and extending best wishes to the senator and his wife going forth.But Romney dropped what seemed like a big hint: Hours after Hatch’s announcement, he changed the location of his Twitter biography from Massachusetts to Holladay, Utah, a Salt Lake suburb in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. CAPTION White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks about President Trump's response to Steve Bannon's comments about Donald Trump Jrand his Russia meeting. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks about President Trump's response to Steve Bannon's comments about Donald Trump Jrand his Russia meeting. CAPTION White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks about President Trump's response to Steve Bannon's comments about Donald Trump Jrand his Russia meeting. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks about President Trump's response to Steve Bannon's comments about Donald Trump Jrand his Russia meeting. CAPTION The House passes the Republican tax plan. The House passes the Republican tax plan. CAPTION President Trump’s lawyer on Thursday demanded a publisher and author cease publication of a forthcoming book. President Trump’s lawyer on Thursday demanded a publisher and author cease publication of a forthcoming book. CAPTION AttyGenJeff Sessions scrapped a policy that offered legal shelter for state-sanctioned marijuana sales.  AttyGenJeff Sessions scrapped a policy that offered legal shelter for state-sanctioned marijuana sales.  CAPTION President Trump delivered a scorching rebuke to his former chief strategist. President Trump delivered a scorching rebuke to his former chief strategist. mark.barabak@latimes.com@markzbarabak After LaVar's latest criticism, Lakers must decide whether it's worth it to remain in the Ball business Judge dismisses case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons Oprah for president? Have we learned nothing? Oprah for president in 2020: Will she? Should she? Secret spy satellite may be lost after SpaceX launch Catch up on the Golden Globes' 7 must-see moments Tommy Wiseau reveals what he would have said on stage at the Golden Globes Thousands evacuated as first major rainstorm in a year hits Southern California --> Privacy Policy

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