Sen. Orrin Hatch is reportedly planning to retire before the end of his term, and Mitt Romney is going to run for his seat in Utah.
The Atlantic reported:
Senator Orrin Hatch has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat, according to five sources familiar with the situation.
Sources close to both men said plans have already been set in motion for Hatch to retire and for Romney to run, but they cautioned that the timing of the announcements have not yet been finalized, and that either man could still change his mind. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because the plans are not yet public, and the subject is sensitive to Hatch. Already, though, the expected developments are reshaping the state’s political landscape.
Steve Bannon was already lining up a candidate to primary Hatch next year, and he has to be filled with glee over the prospect of facing Romney in a primary. It likely won’t matter. Romney is beloved in Utah, and he would win the seat with ease.
Turning Hatch’s seat into an open seat would take away a bit of certainty from the Republican Senate map. Republicans may have to fight to keep control of the Senate, as the presidency of Donald Trump has turned what once looked like an easy election for Senate Republicans into a battle for survival in 2018.