Romney to announce Senate run on social media: report

Romney to announce Senate run on social media: report
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Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Romney: Trump's remarks at Putin summit 'disgraceful and detrimental to democratic principles' Utah's largest paper compares child separation to war crimes in scathing editorial MORE will announce his run for Senate in Utah on Thursday with a message to supporters on social media, sources told the Washington Examiner.

He will make his first appearance on Friday, speaking to grassroots Republicans near Salt Lake City, the news outlet added.

"Stay tuned for my announcement on the Utah Senate race this Thursday. Visit www.mittromney.com to be one of the first to know!" the former Massachusetts governor said in a Facebook post on Monday.

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Romney, 70, was an outspoken critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE during the 2016 GOP primary but since then the two figures have mended fences, with Romney briefly being considered for secretary of State before being passed over for Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Memo: Putin furor sparks new questions on Kelly’s future US steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer MORE.

Utah's Senate seat, currently held by retiring Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLighthizer to testify before Senate next week as trade war ramps up Senators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS Senate panel advances Trump IRS nominee MORE (R), is not under threat by Democrats and Romney is largely considered the favorite.

Romney reportedly began informing GOP insiders of his intentions last month, and Hatch has frequently said that Romney is his personal choice for the seat.

"There's no question that he loves Utah and wants to support Utah any way he can. And I'm hopeful he'll run, because he would be just fine," Hatch said in January.

"And he would certainly be somebody who I think could succeed me into the job. We haven't spoken in the last few days, but if Mitt decides to run, he knows he'll have my support."

The move has also garnered support from other Senate Republicans, who are reportedly eyeing Romney to take over leadership of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

Romney congratulated Hatch on his long career in the Senate in a Facebook post last month.

"I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation," Romney wrote.

"As Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees and as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor," he continued.