Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, will go up for re-election next year… if he decides to run.
Romney, 76, gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal Sunday, and he hinted at a big announcement coming soon.
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He told the Journal that he would wait until fall — around October — to announce his decision regarding whether or not to run for re-election.
“I’ll make my own decision based upon my assessment of what I would be able to accomplish in the second term,” Romney said.
During his entire Senate career, he has sponsored only four bills that became law. At the end of a second term, he would be 83.
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that he’d asked Romney to run again. “He’s an incredibly effective senator,” McConnell told the Journal.
Romney has filed to run for re-election, but he’s hardly campaigning. He’s solicited less than $22,000 in donations, according to FEC records reviewed by the Journal.
By comparison, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs has reportedly raised $170,000 for his campaign. Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson hasn’t even announced a campaign, and he’s reportedly raised over $1 million. Plus, the House speaker has collected endorsements from more than two-thirds of his caucus… and several from the state senators.
However, Romney referred to his time in the Senate as “fun and productive,” and he has defended his record of working alongside the Democrats on certain issues. Last year, Romney voted to confirm liberal Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, even after voting against her confirmation to a lower court in 2021.
“Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m wrong,” Romney said. “You get to a point in life where it’s not like sitting alone in high school in the cafeteria.”
In 2020, Romney became the first U.S. senator ever to vote for the conviction of a president from his own party. The following year, he voted again to convict Trump on different charges, and he was joined by six other Republicans.
Judging by his remarks to the Journal, Romney seems to view the Senate as the ideal place for fixating on his yearslong feud with Trump.
“I think being in the Senate is without question an opportunity for a bigger megaphone and more impact than as a private citizen,” Romney said.
Utah will hold its Senate primary in June, and some leaders are expecting Romney to face a difficult face.
“There’s a strong Romney-support wing and a strong group that does not support him right now,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, told the Journal. “He says he can win, and I think there’s a path for him to win. But it will certainly be harder this time.”
The Horn editorial team