Mitt Romney handily wins US Senate seat from Utah, replacing Hatch

Mitt Romney at his election night headquarters. (Photo: Heidi Hatch / KUTV)

(KUTV) — Mitt Romney is at long last headed to Washington, six years after his stinging defeat in his run for the White House. He won his bid for Utah’s open Senate seat according to the Associated Press and CBS. He will head to Washington as Sen. Orrin Hatch retires after representing the state for 41 years.

Romney was favored to win the race with polls putting him at least 36 percent ahead of Democrat Jenny Wilson.

For those who’ve long since forgotten, Obama won 51 percent of the popular vote to Romney's 47 percent. The race was close, so close Romney had not prepared a concession speech. Election night 2012 in Boston was a long night and undoubtedly a tough night for the former Governor of Massachusetts.

Flash forward six years and Romney is headed to Washington in a role that he can arguably make his own. As a Junior Senator, his influence should by all accounts be small and yet for the last six years he has kept his spot in the GOP as a voice of reason and Elder Statesman.

In President Donald Trump’s run for President in 2016, Romney spoke out against him in the harshest of terms. When the election was over, Romney broke bread with the President appearing to be willing to work for him as his Secretary of state. Romney was ultimately passed over and has found himself both Presidential and cheerleader and critic since.

The question now- will Romney push back against the President or help him pass his agenda. The answer may be both, but if this last week is any indicator, Romney will continue holding the President accountable.

Just this last Thursday Romney wrote an opinion piece As I See It: The Free Press, a Pillar of Democracy. He hit on the importance of the free press. His words in stark contrast to the President’s steady chant of “fake news.”

He wrote in part “America is indebted as a democratic nation to the free press for truths it has uncovered, for truth it has disseminated, and for falsehoods it has repudiated.”

Mitt Romney is arguably a house hold name and yet he hasn’t taken anything for granted in his run for Utah’s open Senate seat. He hit the campaign trail hard with hundreds of campaign events in Utah’s 29 counties.

For more on his plans for when he arrives in Washington click: Romney profile.

Romney who is 71 will have six years to prove to Utah he has their best interest at heart. Many have wondered if a man from Michigan, Governor of Massachusetts will be able to represent the state of Utah. Romney would tell you -Utah is now his home. He moved here after is 2012 loss. He has grandchildren and children and the state. He graduated from BYU, married in the state and had his first children here. He made his return in 2002 for the Winter Olympics and is now back “home” in Utah for what looks like good.

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