BREAKING: Mitt Romney Says He Won't Run for Senate in 2024

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Utah's junior Senator, Mitt Romney, announced on Wednesday that he will not be seeking reelection in 2024. The 76-year-old was elected in 2018, following stints as the Governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007) and presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012 (becoming the GOP nominee in the latter). 

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Romney has remained in the moderate wing of the party, and famously clashed with former President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, delivering a highly critical speech on March 3, 2016, calling on Republicans to choose a nominee other than Trump. Following Trump's win in November, however, Romney reportedly angled for the Secretary of State position, which ultimately went to Rex Tillerson. In 2020, Romney broke ranks with his fellow Republican senators and voted to convict Trump following the first impeachment. (He was joined by five other Republicans in voting to convict following the second impeachment in 2021.) 

Romney made his announcement in a video posted to social media: 

In the two-and-a-half-minute video, Romney touted his own achievements while acknowledging that he'd be in his mid-80s at the end of another term, were he to seek one. He emphasized the need for a new generation of leaders, noting "They're the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in." He also offered some criticisms of both President Biden and former President Trump:

You know, contrary to a lot of expectations, I enjoy my work in the Senate a good deal. The last few years have been particularly productive, as I was able to help lead and negotiate the bipartisan Infrastructure law, a comprehensive China strategy process, religious liberty protections, a compromise gun safety law, the Electoral Count Act reform, and emergency COVID relief funding. 

I was also able to help secure key Utah priorities, including funding for Hill Air Force Base and its program to modernize our nuclear deterrent, as well as funding for wildfire prevention, water infrastructure, rural broadband, removal of uranium tailings from Moab, expansion and restoration of our highway and transit infrastructure, and federal studies to save the Great Salt Lake. 

I've spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another. At the end of another term, I'd be in my mid-80s. Frankly, it's time for a new generation of leaders. They're the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in. 

Now, we face critical challenges: mounting national debt, climate change, and the ambitious authoritarians of Russia and China. Neither President Biden nor former President Trump are leading their party to confront those issues. On deficits and debt, both men refuse to address entitlements, even though they know that this represents two-thirds of federal spending. Donald Trump calls global warming a hoax, and President Biden offers feel-good solutions that make no difference to the global climate. On China, President Biden underinvests in the military, and President Trump underinvests in our alliances. Political motivations too often impede the solutions that these challenges demand. The next generation of leaders must take America to the next stage of global leadership. 

While I'm not running for reelection, I'm not retiring from the fight. I'll be your United States senator until January of 2025. I will keep working on these and other issues, and I'll advance our state's numerous priorities. I look forward to working with you and with folks across our state and nation in that endeavor. It really is a profound honor to serve Utah and the country, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so. 

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As RedState previously reported, Riverton, Utah, Mayor Trent Staggs has already declared his run for the seat, as has Utah Speaker of the House Brad Wilson. 

Staggs shared his thoughts on Romney's announcements on X (formerly Twitter):

Our Neil McCabe interviewed Staggs in late July and will have more reaction from him shortly. 

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