POLITICS

Sen. Mitt Romney will not run for reelection saying, ‘it’s time for a new generation of leaders’

Sep 13, 2023, 6:48 PM

Image: Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions confi...

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions confirmation hearing for Julie Su to be the Labor Secretary, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 20, 2023, in Washington. (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP file)

(Photo: Alex Brandon, AP file)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced Wednesday that he would not run for reelection.

In a video announcement, the senator said that, although he’d been very productive in the last few years, a second term would not be in the cards for him.

The decision hinged heavily on his age, as Romney pointed out that he’d be in his mid-80s by the end of another term.

“Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” he said. “They’re the ones that need to make the decisions to shape the world that they will be living in.”

He continued on to say there are issues plaguing the U.S. that still need to be addressed.

Romney pointed to President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump’s leadership and said they were both failing to properly address critical issues like climate change, national debt, and relations with Russia and China.

“Political motivations too often impede the solutions that these challenges demand,” Romney said.

Romney emphasized that although he wouldn’t seek reelection, he was not “retiring from the fight.” He promised to continue his work through the rest of his term, which ends in 2025.

Utah Republican chair on what the news means for Utah

Utah Republican Chair Robert Axson told KSL NewsRadio that the senator’s announcement was surprising but said it was a decision that should be respected.

As for what the news means for Utah, Axson said the timing of the announcement was beneficial to Utah Republicans.

“I have to express my gratitude to the senator in making his intentions known this early in the process. I think it’s to the benefit of folks who have thought about it or will now think about it to be able to prepare themselves.”

Axson said leaders like House Speaker Brad Wilson and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs have already been active in the race and “have good momentum going” for them. But, Axson noted, there’s still space for new people to jump in.

To Romney’s point about passing down the power to a younger generation, Axson said it’s time for new ideas to come forward.

“I think for Utah, with as young of a population as we have, this will be beneficial.”

To Romney’s other point about politics getting in the way of solutions, Axson agreed, saying that Utahns should get to know the Republican party’s principles rather than just voting based on party affiliation alone.

Samantha Herrera is a digital content producer for KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM in Salt Lake City.

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Sen. Mitt Romney will not run for reelection saying, ‘it’s time for a new generation of leaders’