Mitt Romney officially announced Friday that he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2018, saying that he will “fight for Utah” in a campaign launch video.

“I have decided to run for United States Senate, because I believe I can help bring Utah’s values and Utah’s lessons to Washington,” Romney said.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee had long been expected to make the announcement that he will run for the seat being vacated by longtime Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.). Romney’s name recognition and popularity there make him the instant front-runner in the red state.

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