A number of people close to the Romney family say Mitt's wife, Ann, is encouraging him to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Utah.
The Boston Globe reports Ann is fully behind her husband launching a campaign, which is the latest sign that Mitt is gearing up for a run to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The Globe says the primary reason Ann Romney wants Mitt to run is she's alarmed by Donald Trump's political style as well as the loss of moderating voices in the U.S. Senate due to a number of impending retirements.
The Romney's were apparently caught off guard by Hatch's retirement last week.
Romney and some within his close-knit circle of advisers were surprised last week when Senator Orrin Hatch, 83, announced he would not run for reelection. Although Hatch had initially encouraged Romney to seek the seat, in December he seemed to be heeding the pleas of Trump — who prefers Hatch over his frequent nemesis Romney — to run for an eighth term.
Hatch’s announcement on Jan. 2 set off deliberations, with Romney consulting with his tight-knit circle.
But those close to Romney say that he feels he has something to offer, and that he can bring a moral foundation to a politically toxic environment. An open Senate seat was not exactly something he was searching for, they say, but the opportunity arose and he is sensing that he should take it.
“He really feels like there are a lot of things that he can do to help the country as well as Utah,” said one of the sources. “I really admire him for it, as if I were in his shoes, I would be pretty tempted to just enjoy life.”