Speculation swirls about potential replacements for outgoing Sen. Mitt Romney

Following Sen. Mitt Romney's decision that he will not seek re-election in 2024, speculation has begun to swirl about a host of potential candidates waiting to replace him (Image courtesy of Facebook).

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Following U.S. Senator Mitt Romney’s announcement he will not seek re-election in 2024, speculation has begun to swirl about possible candidates to replace Utah’s junior senator.

For his part, Romney will only say that he hopes that he will be followed by a replacement who is “young, brilliant and accomplished.”

“But I don’t have any particular successor in mind,” Romney admitted on Sept. 13.

Much of the early speculation focused on Utah Gov. Spencer Cox as a possible replacement for Romney.

While only in his first term as governor, Cox has already begun to earn a national reputation for his focus on opposing presidential overreach on national monuments, curbing the influence of social media giants and restoring congeniality in politics with his “Disagree Better” initiative as chair of the National Governors Association.

“I doubt that Cox would want to leave the governorship,” Romney countered, however.

“Being a governor is more productive than being a senator (at federal level),” he confessed. “I don’t think (Cox) wants to make that leap.”

Cox evidently agrees, telling Fox 13 News that he has no plans to enter the senate race.

House Speaker Brad Wilson recently announced that he intends to resign from the Utah Legislature, a clear signal that he intends to run to replace Romney.

The Republican has scheduled a formal announcement of his candidacy of Sept. 27 in Draper.

Trent Staggs, the mayor of Riverton, has already thrown his hat into the ring.

The list of other potential candidates includes former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, although he has previously said that he would prefer to run for governor.

“I think that Chris Stewart, if not for the health concerns about his family, would probably be taking a close look at the race,” Romney suggested. Stewart resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept 15.

“John Curtis may also take a look at the race,” the senator added. “Also Blake Moore and Burgess Owens.”

While thanking Romney for his service to Utah and the nation, Moore has already told Capitol Hill news sources that he does not intended to run for Romney’s seat in the Senate.

“I’m grateful to have worked with (Romney) on critical issues,” Moore said.

Those issues included strengthening the U.S. posture with respect to China, preserving the Great Salt Lake, advocating for Hill Air Force Base and struggling with the thorny issue of national debt, according to Moore.

In recent days, potential candidates declining to run to replace Romney have included former Utah Speaker and gubernatorial candidate Greg Hughes and Attorney General Sean Reyes.

Whoever replaces him, Romney said, will face daunting challenges.

“The amount of debt we have ($31 trillion) is almost criminal,” Romeny explained. “No one is being serious about things that we could do about climate change … We also don’t have an immigration strategy or policy that is shaped by our current needs as a nation.”

Romney will continue in the role of Utah’s senator until January of 2025, after which he plans to visit university campuses to encourage young people to vote.

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  • Robert LaRaia September 21, 2023 at 5:06 am Reply

    Romney is a despicable traitor. I’ll go out on a limb and say ‘anybody’ is better. He says the national debt is ‘criminal’ yet he has zero responsibility for any of it.

    • Pete September 21, 2023 at 12:10 pm Reply

      Yeah maybe they’ll get someone in who votes with the party 100% of the time instead of only 97% of the time! WHAT A RINO!!!

      • Some young dude September 22, 2023 at 8:42 am Reply

        I heard that Liz Cheney has moved to Provo.

    • Some old dude September 21, 2023 at 1:00 pm Reply

      Romney was a moderate and I would vote for him again in a heart beat. I love the United States, but I am ashamed of the vast majority of Americans. To use the word traitor for Romney, while not using the same term for both Trump, Obama, and Biden is befuddling. There was a great American who once said “There won’t be any America, because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race.” They way we are acting, you had better start working on your Mandarin or Spanish. Next time you want to call someone a traitor. Ask yourself, what good have you done to help the American people?

      • Enough September 22, 2023 at 4:31 am Reply

        When the government stops giving a shit about its own agenda then maybe Americans will too. Start to have compassion and lose the entitlement. When we get an actual leader most will follow.

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