Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was reportedly treated over the summer for prostate cancer.
Citing a source close to Romney, CNN was the first to report the news.
“He was treated surgically by Dr. Thomas Ahlering at UC Irvine Hospital in California,” the source said of the 70-year-old. “His prognosis is good; he was successfully treated.”
The report was also confirmed by multiple other outlets.
Though specific details are currently unknown, the cancer diagnosis could affect a potential Senate run in Utah by the two-time presidential candidate.
The news comes less than one week after current Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announced that he will not be seeking re-election this year, and will instead retire after a decades-long career in Congress.
Hatch’s decision to retire was thought to clear the way for Romney to take his place.
Romney, the first Mormon to ever be nominated for president on a major party ticket, is adored in Utah, a bastion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a Republican stronghold.
Despite losing nationally in 2012, Romney won the Beehive State with almost 73 percent of the vote, nearly tripling then-President Barack Obama’s 25 percent.
In fact, it was reported in early 2017 that Hatch was in talks with Romney about the former Massachusetts governor replacing him should he retire from office.
To the vehement denial of Hatch staffers at the time, The Atlantic reported that the senior senator from Utah had discussed this possibility with Romney. One man familiar with the talks described it as a “done deal” between the two camps.
Igniting further speculation that he will run, Romney updated his Twitter location last week to reflect a Utah residence immediately following Hatch’s retirement announcement.
The Massachusetts Republican was an early and harsh critic of then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election. Since Trump’s victory, Romney has gone on to tell close confidants that he is worried about the type of leadership in the Oval Office.
A Sen. Romney could possibly mean a face for the “never Trump” movement within conservative circles — something Trump wants to avoid to keep his influence within the GOP intact.
CNN reported that on Thursday, Romney spoke with Trump over the phone, though it’s not known what they talked about.
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