Former Sen. Orrin Hatch’s son enters race to succeed Mitt Romney in Utah

A congressman and a senator’s son jumped into the race Tuesday for the Utah U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mitt Romney.

Republican U.S. Rep. John Curtis announced his campaign to a TV station after saying last fall he had decided not to run.

After people asked him to reconsider, he decided he could carry over his work representing Utah but with a bigger platform, Curtis told KSL-TV.

Curtis has served eastern Utah’s Third District since 2017. He was previously mayor of Provo, Utah, for seven years and for a time was a county-level Democratic Party official.

Brent Orrin Hatch also announced his candidacy Tuesday. Hatch is one of six children of the late Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who retired after 42 years in office in 2019 and died in 2022.

Brent Hatch is a trial lawyer who is treasurer and past director of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization that advocates interpreting the U.S. Constitution according to the context in which it was written.

He was an associate White House counsel under President George H.W. Bush and a Utah delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

He described himself as “not a professional politician” in a statement through his campaign.

“I have worked for over 33 years here in Utah as a lawyer protecting the rights of individuals and companies. But I still have an insider’s knowledge of the highest levels of government,” he said in the statement.

Romney, 76, announced in September he won’t seek a second term in the Senate, saying it was time for younger leaders to step in. Romney also served as governor of Massachusetts and was the 2012 Republican nominee for president.

Romney is among several Republicans who opposed former President Donald Trump and have been voted out or not sought re-election.

Others running to succeed Romney include former Utah House speaker Brad Wilson, a Republican who announced his campaign in September, and lesser-known Republicans including Riverton, Utah, Mayor Trent Staggs and Roosevelt, Utah, Mayor Rod Bird Jr.

Republicans carry a substantial advantage in Utah, outnumbering Democrats by a more than 3-to-1 margin.

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