This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Romney for Utah governor? It could happen, said Ann Romney in a Monday interview on the "Today" show.
But it wouldn't be her husband, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and the 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Instead, the couple's third son, Josh Romney, a real estate developer based in Salt Lake City, apparently is considering a run in 2020.
"I definitely see it in the lights for Josh," Ann Romney said.
Josh Romney considered running for lieutenant governor in Utah in 2010 on a ticket led by Kirk Jowers, the former head of Mitt Romney's leadership PAC and longtime director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. The team never materialized, though Josh Romney has remained somewhat involved in state politics with his endorsements for GOP candidates.
He has expressed interest in political office, given the right opportunity, suggesting in 2015 that a potential bid might be a ways out.
"The thought of running for office doesn't sound very fun, and even governing would be very hard," he told The Salt Lake Tribune in 2015. "But the impact you could have as a good leader, the impact you could have for generations, that's what drives me."
Still, Ann Romney prodded her son to "go for it."
"It's worth making a difference," she said. "It's worth trying to get involved. Let your voice be heard. Get in there."
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert completes his second full term in 2020. He has held elective office continuously since 1990, stepping in as governor in 2009 when Jon Huntsman resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China, then won election in his own right in 2010, 2012 and 2016. He has said he would not seek re-election in 2020.
During the "Today" interview, Ann Romney also spoke about Mitt Romney's consideration as secretary of state under President Donald Trump.
"We were very seriously considering it and very seriously being considered," she said.
Her husband would have accepted, she said, "if he had been asked." Trump chose former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson.
During the election, Mitt Romney had criticized Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud," while Trump countered by calling Romney a "loser" and a "choker."
As for a potential political future for Mitt Romney, his wife pushed it off the table.
"We're enjoying life," she said, "the way it is right now."