Around New England

Mitt Romney Not Seeking Re-Election In Utah Next Year

September 14, 2023

Former Massachusetts governor and current Utah U.S. Senator Mitt Romney will not seek re-election next year.

Romney, 76, has not been polling well in Utah. While he leads the pack in the Republican primary race, a poll in August 2023 put him at only 30 percent — well under what an incumbent usually needs to win.

Romney is seen as a moderate in right-leaning Utah. He voted in 2020 and again in 2021 to remove President Donald Trump from office after the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump. (The 2021 vote was after Trump was already out of office, but a vote to “convict” (using the term in the U.S. Constitution) might have barred Trump from running for president again.) Those votes were not popular in Utah.

Romney, a Republican, in 2019 became the first U.S. senator in history to vote to remove from office a president from his own party. (In 2021, he was one of seven Republicans to do so.)

Romney is in the fifth year of his first six-year term in the U.S. Senate; he was elected in 2018.

While he was a never-Trumper during the 2016 presidential election, Romney eventually interviewed with Trump to try to become Secretary of State in Trump’s administration. Trump didn’t give him the job, or any other.

Here is Romney’s explanation as to why he is not seeking re-election, in full:

 

You know, 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 have 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-eighties. 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.

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 them. On the deficits and debt, both men refuse to address entitlements even though they represent two thirds of federal spending. Donald Trump calls global warming a hoax and President Biden offers feel-good solutions that will 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 re-election, 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.

It is a profound honor to serve Utah and the nation, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so.

 

Romney served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He also ran for president twice (2008 and 2012) and was the Republican nominee in 2012; he lost that election to then-president Barack Obama. 

 

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