Senator Mitt Romney of Utah remains undecided about seeking another term in office next year. Although Romney has been a noted critic of former President Donald Trump, he believes that if he chooses to run again, he stands a strong chance of victory, a sentiment that polling data appears to support, according to sources.
Leaders within the Republican Party, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Steve Daines, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have voiced their backing for Romney. McConnell previously praised Romney’s efficacy as a senator.
Despite this support, Trump has openly voiced his opposition to Romney, urging others to challenge him. The GOP’s primary elections in Utah are slated for next June.
Brad Wilson, the Speaker of the Utah state House, has initiated preliminary investigations into a potential candidacy. He intends to defer any formal announcements until after Romney confirms his intentions. Wilson, with endorsements from about 50 state legislators for a Senate position, appears to be a significant contender.
Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who began his Senate campaign in May, has earned the endorsement of renowned conservative commentator Mark Levin. However, early polling data indicates Romney leading both Wilson and Staggs, with many Utah voters still undecided.
Sean Reyes, the Utah Attorney General and state co-chair for Trump’s 2020 campaign, is reportedly being encouraged to join the race. Another potential candidate is former Representative Jason Chaffetz, who is set to finalize his decision by the fall.
Robert C. O’Brien, a Utahn and former national security adviser under Trump, clarified recently that he does not intend to contest for the Senate.
Regardless of Romney’s decision, it’s anticipated that the seat will stay within the Republican fold. As of now, no Democratic candidate has shown intent to challenge Romney. Interestingly, Romney registered a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission earlier this year, paving the way for fundraising without formally declaring his intent.
Moreover, having run as the Republican nominee for the presidency in 2012, Romney boasts of an expansive donor base and has significant personal resources, amounting to an estimated $300 million, to leverage if he opts for another Senate term, as per sources.