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Romney Officially Launches Campaign For Utah Senate Seat

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Ending weeks of speculation, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney officially announced Friday that he is running for Senate in Utah.

Romney indicated in a video announcing his campaign that he would seek to bring Utah's values and lessons to Washington.

"Utah is a better model for Washington than Washington is for Utah," Romney says in the video, noting that the state has balanced its budget and imports more than it exports.

In what was seen as a jab at President Donald Trump, Romney also said, "Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion."

Romney has been a vocal critic of Trump but is expected to tone down his rhetoric during the campaign to avoid alienating Utah voters who support the president.

A former Massachusetts Governor, Romney is running to replace Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who announced his retirement in early January.

"I'm thrilled Mitt has decided to run," Hatch said in a post on Twitter. "His talent and drive as a public servant will ensure Utah maintains a strong seat at the table."

Trump had reportedly pushed Hatch to run for re-election amid concerns about Romney taking over his Senate seat.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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