The former GOP presidential nominee is huddling with Utah’s class of GOP power brokers, contacting the state’s major political donors, and hitting the trail for candidates running in local races amid mounting speculation that the state’s longtime senator, Orrin Hatch, will retire. Romney is also raising money for House and Senate Republicans, winning him favor with GOP leaders ahead of a treacherous midterm election.
Last week, Romney attended a high-profile gala in Salt Lake City hosted by the Sutherland Institute, a prominent conservative think tank. The event drew a number of notable Utah political figures, including Sen. Mike Lee and Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser. Romney shared a table with former Gov. Mike Leavitt, a longtime supporter he’s been in touch with amid his deliberations. He also had a private conversation with the night’s featured speaker, conservative commentator Bill Kristol.