Mitt Romney broke a 16-year political losing streak on Tuesday, when the former Republican presidential nominee handily won a race for US Senate in Utah.
Romney, 71, hadn’t run a winning campaign since 2002, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He first ran for the Senate in Massachusetts in 1994, challenging incumbent Ted Kennedy (D), who beat him by a 17-point margin. Romney won the Massachusetts governor race in 2002, but then slogged through two failed presidential campaigns. He decided against a third go in 2016 after many of his big donors declined to get on board.
For the past five years, Romney has essentially been retired. In 2013, he moved to Utah, where two of his sons live and where Romney lived when he worked on the 2002 Winter Olympics. He and his wife, Ann, built a McMansion in Holladay, Utah, near Salt Lake City—complete with a secret room behind a bookcase. He’s been spotted in Wal-Mart parking lots, and earlier this year, he captured video footage of a house in his neighborhood burning down and sent it to the local TV station, which featured it in a web story.