POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah lawmakers and leaders react to Romney reelection announcement

Sep 13, 2023, 3:39 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2023, 2:58 pm

sen mitt romney...

Sen. Mitt Romney addresses the Utah Republican Party 2021 Organizing Convention Saturday, May 1, 2021, in West Valley City, Utah.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Following Sen. Mitt Romney’s announcement that he would not seek reelection, several Utah lawmakers and leaders issued statements on Wednesday responding to the news. Several of the statements addressed or alluded to candidates who will run to replace Romney.

Utah AG will not run for Senate

One Senate candidate rumor was put to rest. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he wouldn’t seek to replace Romney, despite long-standing rumors of a Senate run.

Reyes will instead seek reelection as attorney general.

His campaign told KSL NewsRadio he will be endorsing someone in the Senate race in the days to come.

Speaker Wilson hints at running

House Speaker Brad Wilson, who filed as a U.S. Senate candidate but called it an “exploratory” move, wished Romney the best following the announcement.

In his statement, Wilson said the state needs “to elect a strong conservative fighter to the U.S. Senate,” and said he had been encouraged by support and endorsements in his possible run for Senate in 2024.

His statement ended with “stay tuned,” neither confirming nor denying whether he would indeed run for Senate.

Riverton mayor emphasizes a suitable replacement

Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who is running for Romney’s seat in 2024, said in a post on X, that Romney’s replacement should be an “America First champion.”

 Governor shows appreciation

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox expressed his gratitude toward Romney shortly after the news broke.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Cox said, “Our state and our nation have benefited from his principled leadership and patriotism.”

Sen. Mike Lee, who serves alongside Romney as a U.S. senator, released a statement of support for his counterpart.

“I want to thank Senator Romney for his many years of public service. I wish him the very best of success in his future endeavors, and I know that his family will enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with him.”

Jessica Lowell contributed to the reporting of this article.

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Utah lawmakers and leaders react to Romney reelection announcement