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Find KUER's reporting on the races, candidates and more for Utah’s 2018 midterm elections. Click here for our graphics of the U.S. Senate race, 4 Congressional races and Utah ballot initiatives.

Mitt vs. Old Abe Lincoln? Assorted Cast Of Republicans Line Up To Challenge Romney

Nicole Nixon
Mitt Romney speaks to members of the media after filing to run at the Utah Republican convention this spring.

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.

“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.

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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