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State Lawmaker Wants To 'Recruit Romney' To Run For Senate

@e2summit / Twitter
Mitt Romney speaks during his annual political retreat at Deer Valley Resort on June 9, 2017.

Republican state lawmaker Dan Hemmertwas reading headlines about Orrin Hatch’s Senate seat last month that worried him.

According to multiple reports, President Trump’s former aide Steve Bannonwas looking to recruit right-wing challengers for the seat in his bid to upend the Republican establishment.

“I feel like it’s our Senate seat,” said Hemmert, a state senator representing Orem. “When I say ours, it’s Utah’s. It’s not a bunch of pundits in D.C. or even elected officials anywhere in the country, it’s ours.”

So Hemmert decided it was time to do something. Now, he and a few friends are forming a political action committee called “Recruit Romney” and launching a petition to persuade the former Republican presidential candidate to run.

Hemmert said the effort is completely grassroots. He has not spoken to or tried to contact Romney ahead of launching the petition.

“The goal here is to show to Gov. Romney that there are Utahns — and I know there’s been polls — but even more than that, showing that there’s voters in Utah who would love it if he decided to run,” he said.

Although Hatch has not made a final decision on whether to seek an eighth term, he’s told media outlets that Romney would be a good replacement.

Romney has also been increasingly interested in the prospect, talking with donors and Republican stakeholders around the state.

Hemmert plans to unveil his "Recruit Romney" campaign with a kick-off event this Monday, Nov. 13 at the state capitol. 

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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