Derek Miller 02Even though the 2018 election for U.S. Senate is still more than two years away, one Republican is already taking a serious look at running.

Derek Miller, currently the President & CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, says he's currently talking with potential supporters about a possible candidacy two years from now.

"I think we've totally taken our eye off the ball at the national level as it relates to economic development," says Miller. "You remember the old saying, "It's the economy, stupid'? Right now, on a national level, we're all looking pretty stupid when it comes to the things that we're currently debating, and we're not focusing on growing the economy again."

Miller says Utah's economic success is the main reason he's considering a run in 2018.

"I think Utah has a great role to play and a great example to set. I've been involved in economic development one way or another over the last decade in the state, and I think there are some significant things to take from the example of what Utah has done and apply it on a national level."

The elephant in the room for 2018 is Sen. Orrin Hatch. When he won the election in 2012, he promised to not seek another term in 2018. Hatch has started to waffle a bit on that pledge. Miller says he has tremendous respect for Hatch, but his decision on whether to get into the race will not hinge on Hatch's plans.

Miller says his focus right now is helping Gov. Gary Herbert win another term in office.

"After the November election, there will be a lot of shoes falling. We'll know who is in the White House. We'll know how the Senate goes. We'll know what other folks are doing. We'll know whether Gov. Herbert is back continuing to lead our state and the state's economy. I think that's the time for me when I'll be taking a very long and deliberative look."

Before taking the reigns of the World Trade Center Utah, in 2014 Miller served as chief of staff for Governor Herbert. He was also the managing director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

"For me, it's a matter of taking one step at a time," says Miller "I'm planning for it and preparing for it. I love the Dan Jones saying that I've heard him say many times which is 'In politics, you have to catch a wave, but you've gotta have a surfboard.' I'm going to be out there trying to build a surfboard, and we'll see if we catch a wave when the time is right."