Mitt Romney's announcement Wednesday that he will not seek reelection to the Senate was not so surprising. Although the Utah Republican and 2012 Republican presidential nominee had been raising money, sources close to Romney had long told Newsmax that privately he anticipated a difficult renomination battle in both the state convention next year and the subsequent primary.
Now, it is a foregone conclusion that his successor in the Senate will be a conservative Republican who, unlike Romney, is a fan of former President Donald Trump.
Utah Speaker of the House and stalwart conservative Brad Wilson has so far raised $5 million, while Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs has the endorsement of radio superstars Mark Levin and Charlie Kirk. Both Wilson and Staggs are Trump enthusiasts.
Utah's two-term Attorney General Sean Reyes has long been mentioned as a Senate candidate and is reportedly considering the race.
According to one veteran GOP operative in the Beehive State, "As the first Mormon nominated for president by a major party, Mitt used to be considered our 13th Apostle [a reference to the 12 Apostles who make up the governing board of the Mormon Church], but then he voted to impeach Trump. And Utah Republicans love Trump."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.