(TheRedAlertNews.com) – HAPPENING NOW: Just moments ago, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a member of the Republican Party, announced he will not be vying for reelection in 2024. This decision opens the field in Utah, a state known for its strong Republican leanings.
You can watch a video of his announcement further down this post.
Having served as both a presidential candidate and the governor of Massachusetts in the past, Romney, now 76, expressed his sentiment in a video statement. “Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” he voiced. “They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”
He also highlighted that by the conclusion of another six-year Senate term, he would be in his mid-80s. Although Romney did not directly mention the ages of President Joe Biden, 80, and ex-President Donald Trump, 77, the 2024 presidential nominees from their respective parties, he critiqued both for not sufficiently addressing challenges like the national debt and climate change.
In the 2018 elections, Romney had a comfortable victory in Utah, which is staunchly Republican.
However, in recent years, he faced growing challenges from within the GOP, primarily because of his disagreements with Trump, the party’s unofficial leader. Romney holds the distinction of being the first U.S. senator to vote to convict a president of his own party during an impeachment trial. Notably, he voted against Trump during his first impeachment and was one among seven to vote in favor of conviction during the second trial. However, Trump was acquitted on both occasions.
A significant section of Utah’s GOP criticized Romney for his stance against Trump. He faced boos during a meeting of Utah’s most active Republican Party members post his vote in the second impeachment trial. “Mitt Romney Republican” was used derogatorily during the 2022 midterm elections.
Despite this, Romney remained well-respected in Utah, a state known for favoring civil conservatism over Trump’s unconventional political style. Utah hosts entities and individuals like the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, the Republican Evan McMullin, who attempted a 2016 presidential run, and GOP Governor Spencer Cox, a Trump critic.
Utah has a majority population that follows The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith that has historically embraced immigrants and refugees. Having been associated with this faith and being a prominent figure in the state for two decades, Romney enjoyed significant popularity.
He earned praise in the state by successfully managing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, particularly during the bribery scandal. After losing to President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race, Romney moved to Utah. His 2012 campaign was marked by his remarks at a private event where he seemed dismissive of “47% of Americans.”
In 2016, he took a firm stance against Trump, terming him “a phony, a fraud.” Even though they later discussed a potential role for Romney in Trump’s administration, the position of secretary of state eventually went to Rex Tillerson, the then-CEO of Exxon Mobil. While Romney acknowledged Trump’s endorsement in 2018 for his Senate race, he also asserted his commitment to challenge Trump whenever he found his actions or statements detrimental to democracy.
My message to Utahns on my Senate reelection plan: pic.twitter.com/kgbsfIxMeR
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 13, 2023