Sen. Mitt Romney Says he Won’t Run for a Second Term – On Wednesday, Utah Senator Mitt Romney revealed his decision not to run for re-election in 2024. Romney, a prominent figure in the Senate known for his bipartisan efforts, notably voted twice to convict former President Trump during separate impeachment trials.
In a video statement, the 76-year-old senator mentioned that he would be in his mid-80s by the end of another term and expressed his intention to create space for fresh perspectives in the political space. “While I’m not running for reelection, I’m not retiring from the fight,” he said. But, he said, “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.”
Having dedicated over 25 years to a career in public service, Romney, who was the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, has made this announcement at a time when Republicans are striving to regain control of the Senate in the upcoming year. Senator Mitt Romney’s decision not to seek re-election in 2024 marks the end of a long and distinguished career in public service, which includes his notable run as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2012.
This announcement comes at a critical juncture for the Republican Party as they set their sights on reclaiming control of the Senate in the upcoming elections. Romney’s departure from the Senate will undoubtedly leave a void in the political landscape, and his legacy as a bipartisan negotiator and principled statesman will be remembered as he paves the way for new voices to shape the future of American politics.
Nonetheless, Romney maintained that he wouldn’t completely exit politics. He pointed out that his Senate term extends for more than a year, suggesting his continued engagement even after leaving office. “While I’m not running for reelection, I’m not retiring from the fight. I’ll be your United States senator until January 2025. I will keep working on these and other issues and I will advance our state’s numerous priorities. I look forward to working with you and with folks across our state and nation in that endeavor,” he said, speaking to Utahans.
Romney’s declaration marks the end of months of speculation regarding his potential bid for a second Senate term. As one of the rare high-ranking GOP officials who consistently voiced criticism of Trump, including voting to convict Trump in both impeachment trials, these critiques sparked debates about Romney’s standing within a party that had been transformed in Trump’s likeness. Furthermore, they raised doubts about his chances of winning a primary in any future campaign.
Romney told ABC News following his announcement that “there’s no question that the Republican Party today is in the shadow of Donald Trump.” He rejected the notion that his choice not to pursue a second term was influenced by the prospect of Trump’s potential candidacy in the 2024 election. Romney also told ABC News that Biden called him following the announcement. Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs is the only Republican officially in the 2024 Utah Senate GOP primary race so far.
However, state House Speaker Brad Wilson has initiated an exploratory committee, and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz is contemplating entering the race as well. “We are at a crossroads, and it’s never been more important to elect a strong conservative fighter to the U.S. Senate. The stakes are too high, and we need a leader with the guts to stand up and get things done for the people of this state. I’ve been encouraged so far by the record-breaking fundraising, groundswell of grassroots support, and unprecedented endorsements we’ve received so far,” Wilson said in a statement.
During an interview with The Washington Post, Romney acknowledged that his criticism of Trump had somewhat distanced him within the Republican Party. While he expressed a preference for a different candidate to secure the party’s 2024 presidential nomination other than Trump, he indicated that his endorsement might not have a substantial impact in supporting any particular candidate.