Riverton, Utah Mayor Trent Staggs announced he will seek the state’s U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2024.
Mitt Romney (R) currently holds that seat and has not made a final decision on running for re-election.
If Romney seeks re-election, the Republican mayor would be his first challenger in the race.
“Utah needs another proven fighter and conservative in the Senate. We need someone unafraid to stand against the Washington establishment. That’s who I am, but I need your help to get there,” Staggs wrote on Twitter with a video announcement of his campaign.
Utah needs another proven fighter and conservative in the Senate. We need someone unafraid to stand against the Washington establishment. That’s who I am, but I need your help to get there https://t.co/yg5tnTG4mV pic.twitter.com/qof9JQYi7C
— Mayor Trent Staggs (@MayorStaggs) May 23, 2023
“I love my children, and I’m worried about the country they will inherit if I sit on the sidelines,” Staggs told Fox News Digital.
“For too long, we’ve allowed government bureaucrats to spend away the next generation’s future, and we need more voices willing to push back,” he added.
“Right now, Washington is broken,” Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs began in his campaign video announcing his intentions to run for U.S. Senate against Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. https://t.co/90lxEaJk5p
— FOX 13 News Utah (@fox13) May 23, 2023
Fox News reported:
Romney filed FEC paperwork last month in a possible first step toward running for re-election, but his chief of staff told local media that he has not made a final decision.
When asked why he believes Romney may not be an effective leader for the state, Staggs said, “Unfortunately, Mitt Romney has let personal beefs get in the way of good governance. From not standing with Mike Lee against raising the debt ceiling to voting for the $1.7 trillion omnibus, he has helped drive us deeper in debt.”
“He votes to impeach President Trump but then has the nerve to confirm a radical justice like Ketanji Brown Jackson and incompetent cabinet members like open border [DHS Sec. Alejandro] Mayorkas,” Staggs added.
In announcing his candidacy in the race, Staggs became the first person to publicly pose a challenge to Romney, who has angered many voters within his own party for his reasoning and support for certain policies and bills.
“Mitt Romney fits in the Senate much better than I do. We’ve elected far too many people who ‘fit in’ in Washington. I’m not going to Washington to make friends, I’m going to make change,” Staggs declared.
Deseret News added:
Staggs said he decided to run after personal reflection and after discussing his options with his wife and close friends. He’s been in elected office in Riverton for 10 years, first as a city councilor and then as mayor,
“And throughout that service, I think I have proven myself as a fighter, somebody who is consistently conservative, on all fronts,” he said. “I have consistently been … on the front lines of what I call the front lines of federal or government overreach.”
Staggs said he is announcing his candidacy now because he needs a “solid year” to reach out to voters across the state
He said he assumes Romney will run again, and that he supported Romney in 2018 and thinks he’s a “really good family man.” But he said he thinks Romney’s ideas are “ruinous for America.”
He criticized Romney’s positions on the budget, immigration and federal overreach, and questioned his vote in support of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.