On Friday, having waited an extra day out of respect for those killed and wounded in Wednesday's tragic school shooting, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, 70, announced his candidacy for the Senate seat in Utah. Romney would replace Orrin Hatch, 83, who recently announced he is stepping down after serving since 1977. Romney would be the overwhelming favorite to replace Hatch; a January poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics found him leading Democrat Jenny Wilson by a 64%-19% margin. 18% of Democrats even supported Romney.
On Friday, Romney released a video on Twitter in which he spoke of his devotion to serving the people of his state, while comparing the way politics is done in Utah to the way it is done in Washington. He stated:
Utah is admired not only for its beauty, but also for the character of its people. Utahns are known for hard work, innovation, and our can-do pioneering spirit. But more than these, we’re known as a people who serve, who care, and who rise to any occasion. When I joined Utah’s 2002 Olympics team, the Games were in trouble; people wondered whether we would be able to recruit the 25,000 volunteers we needed to work 17 straight days for no pay and no tickets. When we put out the word, 47,000 applied.
Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in Washington; Utah has balanced its budgets; Washington is buried in debt. Utah exports more abroad than it imports. Washington has that backwards. Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world; Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion. And on Utah’s capitol hill, people treat one another with respect.
I’ve decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I can help bring Utah’s values and Utah’s lessons to Washington. Utah is a better model for Washington than Washington is for Utah.
Over the last five years Ann and I have spent a good deal of time with our 24 grandchildren. I’ve gone back to business, campaigned for Republicans and met with young people across the country. Ann has championed her Center for Neurologic Research.
Given all that America faces, we feel that this is the right time for me to serve our state and our country. I ask for your support and your vote, and look forward to meting you over the coming year. If you give me this opportunity, I will owe the Senate seat to no one but the people of Utah. No donor, no corporation will own my campaign or bias my vote. And let there be no question: I will fight for Utah.