Romney Faces Fierce Competition in Utah Senate Primaries: A Showdown of Republican Rivals in 2024
U.S. Republican Rep. Mitt Romney, 76, of Utah has a few challengers in his home state willing to take him on in the Senate primaries in 2024, which is expected to be one of the most contentious GOP races in the election cycle.
It’s unclear if Romney—a staunch critic of former President Donald Trump—will run for re-election.
The most recent contender to oust Romney is Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, 49, who said in a video announcement that he has only seen Romney fight for “are the Establishment, ‘wokeness,’ open borders, impeaching President Trump and putting us even deeper into debt.”
Staggs also called Romney a millionaire from Massachusetts who migrated to Utah. Staggs was elected as Riverton’s mayor in 2017.
Over the past few months, he has become more outspoken about various matters as he approached the time of his announcement. He has taken the lead in introducing resolutions that oppose the Environmental, Social, and Governance investment principles, and he has publicly criticized certain library books in the Jordan School District, referring to them as "pornographic" just last month.
In April, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson formed a committee to explore throwing in an official candidacy next year, though he has yet to officially do so.
Speaking to the Associated Press at the time, Wilson said Utah needs a “conservative fighter” not a “professional career politician.”
“I don’t have any illusions that, as speaker of the house, I’m a household name. But that’s really not what this is about. What this is about is me going out and understanding what people care about,” he said.
Last year, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes was reportedly seriously considering challenging Romney, but he has not officially announced his candidacy either.
According to a knowledgeable source, Reyes, a staunch supporter of Trump who held the position of Utah co-chair for Trump's reelection campaign, had private meetings with the former president in September and December 2020. During these meetings, Trump expressed his encouragement for Reyes to challenge Romney in an upcoming election, Politico first reported.