No Senate run for Sutherland Institute’s Boyd Matheson

Boyd Matheson, president of the Sutherland Institute, announces he will not be running for the U.S. Senate in 2018, Salt Lake City, Nov. 20, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Sutherland Institute, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Boyd Matheson, president of the Sutherland Institute, announced Monday that he will not be running for the U.S. Senate in 2018. Instead, he will be focusing his attention on the forthcoming Sutherland Leadership Institute.

Matheson originally announced in October he was considering running for Senate on the GOP ticket. This would ultimately pit him against long-serving Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, provided Hatch solidified his own plans to seek yet another term.

In this July 12, 2017, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. | AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais, St. George News

Read more: Hatch could face Sutherland Institute’s Boyd Matheson in 2018 Senate run

While considering a congressional run, Matheson met with former White House strategist Steve Bannon and others who are looking to recruit candidates to run against incumbent GOP senators, Hatch included.

“I met with influencers ranging from Steve Bannon to those who would be classified as Never Trumpers,” Matheson said in a statement issued Monday. “The common thread that emerged from all of my meetings was that the Trump loyalists and the never-Trump camps are completely united on one thing – their absolute frustration with the lack of leadership in the United States Senate.”

Instead of running for Senate, Matheson said he will be focusing on the nation’s “desperate need” for better leaders while also advancing dialogue surrounding political principles and policy.

To this end, Matheson said he is launching the nonprofit Sutherland Leadership Center.

Its mission will be “to train, support and empower elected officials, candidates, staff and engaged citizens with the strategies, structures and disciplines required to transform institutions, congressional offices and local communities.”

Matheson became the head of the conservative, Utah-based Sutherland Institute in 2016 and is a former chief of staff for Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

In this photo taken Nov. 19, 2016, Mitt Romney talks to media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, N.J. | AP photo by Carolyn Kaster, St. George News

As for Hatch, he has yet to make any official announcement concerning plans to run for an eighth term in the Senate.

Read more: Hatch’s office disputes claim senator plans to retire

Hatch’s office has said the senator won’t make an official declaration to seek reelection or retirement until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, rumors and speculation whirls around former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who now resides in Utah. Hatch has said he wouldn’t mind seeing Romney succeed him if his ever did step down. Romney’s also had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Vice President Joe Biden ask him to run.

There’s even an effort promoted by a Utah state senator to recruit the former governor to run for Senate.

Read more: Group launches campaign to recruit Romney for Senate

For the moment, Hatch’s office continually refutes any claims the senator plans to retire while Romney remains quiet about the whole thing and only comments that he has nothing to say about the matter.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • Caveat_Emptor November 20, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    While a few of us were expecting Hatch to “stroke-out” at his Tax Giveaway hearing last week, he made it thru the weekend. His lies were perfectly consistent with his talking points issued by the Republicans, as opposed to common sense and simple logic….
    While on the surface Mitt would be a worthy successor, one wonders how he might vote as a result of earning his “flip/flop” reputation. Utah majority voters are made up of the 53% of the electorate that do not rely on government handouts (remember his honest recognition in 2012 that 47% of the electorate would never support him…), However, he is a thinking kind of guy, who might do what makes good sense for the country, instead of the wealthy donors and PACs that donate to Hatch. The only recent data point is asking Roy Moore to step down and let someone with higher moral standards take his place…….well before the party bosses in Washington adopted the same position. Kudos to Mitt for taking a moral stand!

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