Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch won't stand for re-election

Mitt Romney is likely to run for the Senate seat vacated by Orrin Hatch's retirement, a source told CNBC.

In a video message Tuesday, Hatch, 83, said that he plans to retire from the Senate when his term ends after this year - opening the door for Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, who has been exploring a possible Senate bid, to potentially seek the seat.

"That's why, after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've made a decision to retire at the end of this term", Hatch said.

Mitt Romney, former MA governor and GOP presidential nominee, is expected to run for Hatch's seat. He chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee and was a major force in getting a tax overhaul through Congress and signed into law in December. "I've always been a fighter; I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and i've brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington". And for me, that time is soon approaching. Romney, who is a Mormon, has close ties to Utah, a state with a majority-Mormon population.

"That's why, after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've chose to retire at the end of this term".

Romney intends to make his intentions known in a matter of weeks, the New York Times reports, citing an adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Romney, who last served in government as the governor of MA from 2003 through 2007, has been rumored for months to be planning a run for the seat held by longtime Republican Sen.

  • Jon Douglas