Mitt Romney in Salt Lake City Jan. 19. (George Frey/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Mitt Romney made it official Friday that he's running for the U.S. Senate from Utah.
He released a video announcing his campaign for the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Utah senator Orrin Hatch, on Twitter:
Chris Galdieri, a political science professor at St. Anselm College, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens that Romney won't have a name recognition problem.
"Romney has gone from being a moderate Massachusetts Republican to being a national Republican figure," Galdieri said.
Romney's worn many hats over the years--Massachusetts governor, presidential nominee, the guy who rescued the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics--and Galdieri said that will help him.
"He will have a presence and a prominence that no other freshman senator will have," he said. "But I don't think we'll see him taking a lot of head-on runs at the White House."
Galdieri said he's not exactly in step with President Trump, but he doesn't expect Romney to go against him either.
"In Utah you saw a lot of resistance from some Republicans to Donald Trump," Galdieri said. "I don't want to overstate this--Trump still carried the state, but he only received about 47 percent of the vote. A lot of people voted for Evan McMullan, an independent candidate. Having said that, I think Romney is not going to show up full of fire and brimstone going after Donald Trump."
With Utah's high Mormon population, Galdieri says, Romney should be able to use his Mormonism to connect with voters across policy differences.
"He is now the preeminent Mormon politician in America, and so I think in a state like Utah, that's likely to smooth over whatever policy differences he might have with Utah Republicans."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports