Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says Mitt Romney will have the support of some of the GOP’s biggest donors if he decides to run for Senate this year.
Herbert tells Fox Business that Republican mega-donors across the country are planning to support Romney’s Senate bid because he might be in a position to capture a congressional leadership position if he is elected.
“He’s given me every indication that he’s running. He’ll have a lot of support from the wealthy people that he knows from when he ran for president. The people on the same list of donors that he had before for 2012, including those from Utah, is a very good place for him to raise money,” Herbert, a close friend and ally of Romney’s said. “I wouldn’t doubt he would have the support of people outside of Utah who supported him running for president because they may be thinking how much influence he will have, not just in Utah, but across the country.”
Romney was known to rub shoulders with the political donor class when he ran for president in 2012 against then-candidate Barack Obama. His campaign received support from executives at some of the top banks on Wall Street, including individual contributions from Goldman Sachs totaling over $1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections.
The former contributors to a super PAC dedicated to getting Romney elected to the White House, Restore our Future, are also a source of plausible campaign financiers for his Senate run. Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson was a top donor to the PAC in 2012, dishing out $15 million that year. John Paulson, founder of the investment firm Paulson & Co. was also a donor to the PAC that year, contributing $1 million of his own money to the cause.
While the two-time presidential candidate doesn’t have a perfect record running for public office, he may be more determined than ever to win the race for Utah’s Senate seat because, according to Herbert, it could prove to become a fast track to a position within Senate leadership.