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Chris Diver

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Mitt Romney Announces Candidacy for Senate

On Friday February 16, former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced via a social media video his candidacy for retiring Utah senator Orrin Hatch’s senate seat.

“I am running for United States Senate to serve the people of Utah and bring Utah’s values to Washington,” Romney said via Twitter. Originally, Romney planned on releasing his announcement on February 14. However, he delayed his announcement out of respect for the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

After Romney’s announced candidacy, he was met with different opinions among Republicans. Utah Republican Chairman Rob Anderson was critical of Romney’s candidacy, especially his non-Utah background.

“Let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here. I have two questions for Mitt. First of all, why? And how do you expect to represent Utah when you don’t live here?” Anderson said in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah Republican Executive Committee member Don Guymon was also critical of Romney’s announcement, citing Romney’s history of not being consistent on his views and having moved more liberal at certain points in his life.

“Mitt’s had various positions over the years, so what are we getting? Which Mitt are we getting? He’s never held a town hall and answered questions from Utah citizens yet.” Guymon told CNN.

Not all Republicans have been critical of Romney. Romney’s 2012 running mate and current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a statement in support of Romney.

“Our party and our country are always better off when Mitt is engaged, and I know that he will put his unparalleled experience, conservative leadership, and lifetime of service to work for Utah in the US Senate.” Ryan said.

President Donald Trump, who has had a rocky past with Romney, also tweeted his support of the candidate stating, “@MittRomney has announced he is running for the Senate from the wonderful State of Utah. He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!”

Romney responded by tweeting back at the president “Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah.”

 

Pennsylvania Redistricts It’s Congressional Map

On Monday, February 19, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a new congressional map for the state of Pennsylvania, reuniting Northampton and Lehigh counties. Plans to redistrict Pennsylvania have been in the works since 2011 but have been unable to satisfy both Democrats and Republicans. This map has been criticized by the state’s GOP leaders who believe that the redistricting would strongly benefit the Democratic party after splitting largely Republican areas. This map was drawn up after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe, and Republican legislatures were unable to come to an agreement by the February 15 deadline. Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati and Pennsylvania House Speaker Michael Turzai released a statement saying, “Implementation of this map would create a constitutional crisis where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is usurping the authority of the Legislative and Executive branches. We anticipate further action in federal court.” They went on, stating, “This entire exercise, while cloaked in ‘litigation,’ is and has been nothing more than the ultimate partisan gerrymander – one brought about by the Democrat Governor acting in concert with liberal politically-connected litigants.” The duo also said in the statement released that “Implementation of this map would create a constitutional crisis where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is usurping the authority of the Legislative and Executive branches.”

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