U.S. Senator and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced on Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in the upper chamber, opening a seat up in the 2024 election.
Romney announced his decision not to run for re-election in a video message to Utahns posted on X, formerly Twitter.
“I’ve spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another,” Romney explained. “At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-eighties. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” he concluded. “They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”
Listing off “critical challenges” faced by America such as “mounting national debt, climate change, and the ambitious authoritarians of Russia and China,” Romney attacked the presidential frontrunners in both political parties seeking to win in 2024.
“Neither President Biden nor former President Trump are leading their party to confront those issues,” Romney said. “Political motivations too often impede the solutions that these challenges demand,” he added. “The next generation of leaders must take America to the next stage of global leadership.”
“Contrary to a lot of expectations, I enjoy my work in the Senate a good deal,” Romney continued. “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,” he said in summary of his recent work in Congress.
“I was also able to 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 restoriation of our highway and transit infrastructure, and federal studies to save the Great Salt Lake,” he emphasized.
“While I’m not running for reelection, I’m not retiring from the fight,” he said in his announcement that he was, in fact, choosing not to fight to retain his seat in 2024. “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,” he said of his remaining months in office.
My message to Utahns on my Senate reelection plan: pic.twitter.com/kgbsfIxMeR
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 13, 2023
Romney’s decision comes after other Utah Republicans began preparing bids to primary him if he chose to run for re-election, including Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs and Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson whose exploratory committee raised $2.2 million from April through June.
A poll released in June found that 41 percent of Utah voters approved of Romney’s work as their Senator while 49 percent disapproved, a shift from a previous survey in March that showed 52 percent of Beehive State voters strongly or somewhat approved of Romney’s performance.