Atlantic reporter McKay Coppins has a breaking scoop this Friday afternoon, and it’s one that could have a lasting impact on the U.S. Senate.
Orrin Hatch, the 83-year-old president pro tempore, is planning to retire at the end of his term, which comes to close in 2018. Not only does this leave another empty GOP seat in the Senate, but it also means that a new president pro tempore will need to be chosen.
Coppins writes, “Senator Orrin Hatch has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat, according to five sources familiar with the situation.”
JUST IN: Sources close to Mitt Romney say he is eyeing Utah Senate bid, but will defer to Orrin Hatch's decision on his political future
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) October 27, 2017
This is stunning news. Hatch’s retirement has been rumored for some time. Romney preparing to jump in the ring presents an interesting challenge for President Trump. The former Massachusetts governor was very critical of Trump during the campaign. He was also briefly considered to be Trump’s secretary of state, but lost out to Rex Tillerson. If Romney makes to the Senate, he may be a thorn in the side of the president, especially if he still has strong feelings about being passed over to be head of the State Department.
It’s not yet confirmed that Hatch is most definitely retiring. But given his age, and Romney reportedly courting donors and preparing to jump in the race, there’s a good chance it will soon happen.
It would certainly bring even more excitement to the 2018 elections. Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin is also considering running, so it could be a brutal primary election.
There were mixed reactions to the news over Twitter:
when you hear orrin hatch is retiring pic.twitter.com/uBgAfikaSL
— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) October 27, 2017
Mitt Romney when Orrin Hatch plans to retire pic.twitter.com/tNSeDi7imx
— TrivWorks (@TrivWorks) October 27, 2017
What do you think? Will Orrin Hatch retire? Will Mitt Romney replace him? Tell us your thoughts below!