Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American politician and businessman serving as the junior United States senator from Utah since January 2019. He previously served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and was the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.
Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, by his parents, George and Lenore Romney, he spent two-and-a-half years in France as a Mormon missionary starting in 1966. He married Ann Davies in 1969, and they have five sons. By 1971, he had participated in the political campaigns of both parents. Romney earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1971 and a joint JD–MBA from Harvard University in 1975. Romney became a management consultant and in 1977 secured a position at Bain & Company. Later serving as Bain's chief executive officer (CEO), he helped lead the company out of a financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded and led the spin-off company Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) throughout his adult life, Romney served as bishop of his ward and later as a stake president near Boston.
After stepping down from Bain Capital and his local leadership role in the LDS Church, Romney ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 United States Senate election in Massachusetts. After losing to longtime incumbent Ted Kennedy, he resumed his position at Bain Capital. Years later, a successful stint as President and CEO of the then-struggling Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics led to a re-launch of his political career. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney helped develop and later signed a health care reform law that provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. He also presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees and closing corporate tax loopholes. He did not seek re-election in 2006, instead focusing on his campaign for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Though he won several primaries and caucuses, Senator John McCain was chosen as the Republican Party's nominee. Romney's considerable net worth, estimated in 2012 at $190–250 million, helped finance his political campaigns prior to 2012. Romney won the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first LDS Church member to be a presidential nominee of a major party. He was defeated by incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, losing the Electoral College by a margin of 206–332 and the popular vote by a margin of 47%–51%.
After re-establishing residency in Utah, Romney announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Orrin Hatch in the 2018 election; he defeated state representative Mike Kennedy in the Republican primary and Democrat Jenny Wilson in the general election. In doing so, he became only the third individual ever to be elected governor of one state and U.S. senator for another state (the others being Sam Houston and William Bibb). Romney was sworn in on January 3, 2019.