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Romney for Congress?

Don't count the Romney family out of November's elections just yet.

Mitt Romney's (R) presidential campaign may have fizzled out earlier this month, but now one of his five sons, 32-year-old Josh Romney, is mulling whether to challenge Utah Rep. Jim Matheson (D) this fall, according to a report in the Deseret Morning News.

Josh Romney told the paper that he had been approached, presumably by Republicans in the state, about taking on Matheson. "I haven't ruled it out. I'm pretty young, but I've had good experience on the campaign trail," he said.

A real estate developer, Josh Romney is the only one of Mitt's children who lives in Utah. He and his siblings developed a fan base during their father's presidential bid through their appearances on the trail - Josh drove a mobile home all over Iowa for his dad's campaign.-- and their posts on the "Five Brothers" blog on Mitt's Web site. Sadly, the blog is no longer live, but you can find cached versions through Google. Here, for example, is Josh's account of short-sheeting his parents' bed. Josh does have a MySpace page, which reveals his preferences for modern rock music and offbeat HBO comedies.

As for Matheson, he told Capitol Briefing he hadn't heard much about Josh Romney's interest in the race beyond what he'd read in the paper. "I have no idea if it's going to happen," Matheson said. "It's not going to affect what I do."

Matheson's 2nd district is massive, stretching from Salt Lake City south and east to cover more than half the state's total area. It is heavily Republican, giving President Bush roughly two-thirds of the vote in both 2004 and 2000. But despite that partisan leaning, Matheson has become somewhat entrenched, as Republicans have repeatedly failed to oust him from a seat they believe should be in the red column.

Josh Romney will have to make a decision on the race by March 17, the Utah filing deadline, and if he does decide to run, he could presumably count on the popularity of his family name (and possibly the family wallet) to boost his bid. If he won, he could be the second-youngest member of the House (behind only North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry). And who knows - by 2012 he'll be old enough to run for president himself.

By Ben Pershing  |  February 26, 2008; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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