SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Two names have been mentioned most as U.S. Senate contenders in Utah—Trent Staggs, who is running, and Brad Wilson, who has a campaign exploratory committee. But now that Sen. Mitt Romney has announced he will not seek re-election, other GOP candidates may flood the race.
State Republican Party chair Rob Axson said that even before Romney’s announcement, up to 30 people had contacted the party expressing interest over the last couple of months.
Some of them would be fresh candidates, names not recognized by many, but Axson said a dozen of them “have a compelling case to be made.”
Former Utah lawmaker and now Utah Policy Editor Holly Richardson said, “Let the games begin.
She noted the crowd that rushed into the special 2nd District Republican race for Congress when Rep. Chris Stewart announced his retirement—a race that led to a primary battle—ultimately won by Celeste Maloy.
Romney had come under fire from some Utah Republicans for his role as a repeated critic of former President Donald Trump, even after accepting Trump campaign money in 2012, marching with Black Lives Matter, and reportedly urging President Joe Biden to run for president on the same night Romney won his Senate race.
The retiring senator declined to endorse any potential successors during a press conference in his Washington office Wednesday afternoon.
What's that old John McCain line? 'They're not worth a bucket of spit'," Romney told reporters, saying he was not planning on making any endorsements.
"Who the heck cares who endorsed who? You make your decision as a voter about what you think about the candidate and their point of view and their vision and you don't c are about what some other person said."