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Candidate Conversation: Mitt Romney for Senate

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a 12-episode series of Candidate Conversations with the Voices of Reason Podcast in which hosts Amy Donaldson and Jasen Lee talk with Utah candidates running for federal office. The podcasts offer unique depth into the candidates’ priorities, backgrounds and reasons for running to represent the citizens of Utah. This is an effort to help voters learn more about those running for office and their positions on critical local and national issues.

SALT LAKE CITY — When Mitt Romney lost his bid to become President of the United States in 2012, he thought his career in electoral politics was over. He had served as a Republican governor in heavily Democratic Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and had hoped that his experience there would translate into success on national campaign stage, along with his reputation as a ‘turn around artist’ attained during his business career and as president and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

However, it was not to be and the one-time GOP presidential nominee was ready to spend his time closer to family living in Holladay, and using his considerable influence and talents working behind the scenes impacting causes he deemed socially and politically significant.

But his mind was changed after he received a phone call from U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who informed him that he would not be seeking re-election and that he wanted Romney to run for his soon-to-be-vacated seat in Congress.

“I dismissed it out of hand,” he said, speaking on the Voices of Reason podcast. “I said, ‘That doesn’t make sense.’ And then (my wife) Ann said, ‘Of course you’ve got to do that.’”

He told show hosts Amy Donaldson and Jasen Lee that she was quite convincing in explaining all the positive reasons for a potential senatorial run. Noting the many personal associations he had developed over the years in politics, this would be an opportunity to parlay those connections into beneficial outcomes for the people of the Beehive State.

“She said, given the relationships you have in Washington, the people you’ve campaigned for, the people you know there, you could do more for Utah than the average junior senator, and you’ve got an obligation to step in,” Romney said during an interview in the Candidate Conversation series on the VOR podcast.

After careful consideration, he decided the right thing to do was to embark on one last campaign.

“I started looking at the challenges that we’re facing as a country and what’s happening around the world, economic challenges long-term — our debt, in particular — I said, ‘You know, I really do need to step up and make a difference for our state and for our country.’”

To hear the full interview with Romney and other candidates running for congressional office in Utah, subscribe to the Voices of Reason podcast wherever you find interesting podcasts.