By David Morgan
(Reuters) – U.S. Senator Mitt Romney is not going to search reelection in 2024, capping a roller-coaster trip via Republican politics from the peak of his celebration’s 2012 presidential nomination to the depths of tribal warfare within the age of Donald Trump, the Utah Republican stated on Wednesday on social media.
Casting apart the hopes and appeals of colleagues together with Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell, the 76-year-old Utah Republican stated he would retire as a one-term senator when his time period ends in early 2025, reasonably than search one other six years amongst a dwindling variety of Republican moderates in Congress.
The son of a former Michigan governor and auto business government, Romney grew to become a multimillionare within the non-public fairness enterprise and served as governor of Massachusetts earlier than mounting an unsuccessful problem towards former President Barack Obama because the Republican celebration presidential nominee in 2012.
As a U.S. senator since 2019, he has been an outspoken critic of Democratic President Joe Biden, although one keen to work with the White Home and Democrats on points together with infrastructure and gun management.
However inside Republican circles, Romney stood out as a uncommon Trump critic who voted to convict the previous president at two Senate impeachment trials.
With Trump dominating the 2024 Republican presidential area, Romney has confronted highly effective headwinds at dwelling in solidly Republican Utah. A Deseret Information ballot in June confirmed 47% of Republicans saying that Trump greatest represented them, in contrast with 39% who favored Romney.
Romney’s choice to retire successfully surrenders his Utah Senate seat to a Republican successor who may very well be extra carefully aligned with Trump and the hardline conservative politics of the state’s different U.S. senator, Mike Lee.
Brad Wilson, the Utah state Home speaker, has not declared his candidacy for Romney’s seat. However he has raised $2.2 million via an exploratory committee, together with greater than $1 million from particular person donors, and boasts a slew of endorsements from state lawmakers.
Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, a Trump supporter, has already declared his candidacy. Others, together with former U.S. Consultant Jason Chaffetz, are additionally seen as doable contenders for the Republican nomination.
McConnell, who has put a premium on Senate candidate high quality within the 2024 election marketing campaign, had urged Romney to hunt reelection, describing him as “an extremely efficient senator” to the Wall Road Journal in August.
However Romney has proven little curiosity in backing away from his longstanding criticism of Trump as a candidate pushed by “revenge and ego,” urging Republican megadonors and influencers in a July op-ed to assist slender the 2024 presidential area in a bid to disclaim Trump the White Home.
Romney, a fifth-generation member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormon church, narrowly averted censure by the Utah Republican Get together over his opposition to Trump in 2021. However he was nonetheless booed and heckled onstage at a state celebration conference.
“So, yeah, I perceive that I’ve a couple of people that do not like me terribly a lot, and I am sorry about that. However I categorical my thoughts as I consider is true and I comply with my conscience as I consider is true,” he informed the group.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Modifying by Scott Malone and Deepa Babington)