Mitt Romney to launch Senate campaign Thursday

FILE - In this July 2, 2014, file photo, Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee, addresses a crowd of supporters while introducing New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown at a farm in Stratham, N.H. Romney told a small group of Republican donors that he's eying a third run at the White House. The GOP's last presidential nominee held a private meeting with prominent donors in New York on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. He told the group he's seriously considering launching another presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is running for the Senate in Utah.

Three people with direct knowledge of the plan say Romney will formally launch his campaign in a video on Thursday. His first public appearance as a Senate candidate is scheduled for Friday in Utah. The people who provided the information asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about Romney’s plans in advance.

Romney, who is 70, is seeking to replace Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring after more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate.

The former Massachusetts governor moved to Utah after losing the 2012 presidential election. He is considered the overwhelming favorite to win the Senate contest.

In Utah, Romney is remembered for turning around the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympics.

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