Mitt Romney hasn’t even officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, yet Republican leadership is already seeing stars.
According to a Republican donor with direct knowledge, Senate GOP leaders have expressed an early interest in having Romney succeed Colorado Senator Cory Gardner as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The role involves leading the Senate GOP’s fundraising arm and helping recruit and vet prospective GOP candidates for the upper chamber. A Republican source close to Romney confirmed that the idea of the Utah Republican taking over the NRSC has generated chatter in recent weeks.
On Thursday afternoon, Gardner placed a call to a GOP donor, and said that he and Senate leadership “liked Romney” for the NRSC post. “It made perfect sense to me,” said the source, who requested anonymity to share details of the private conversation. “He’s got the stature and a virtually unmatched fundraising base to draw upon. And he’s running because he wants a national platform to help the party anyway.”
On the call, the source said, Gardner admitted it was an atypical move—ushering a junior senator into a leadership role immediately following his election. But Romney is an atypical candidate, a former presidential nominee who enjoys the respect of the GOP establishment and donor class, and a traditional Republican who often acts as a sharp ideological foil to President Trump. (Spokespeople for Gardner and the NRSC did not respond to a request for comment.)