Mitt Romney coy on 2024 plans as potential rivals eye his seat

Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks with Strider Technologies, an AI-powered strategic intelligence firm Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. Rick Bowmer/AP

Mitt Romney coy on 2024 plans as potential rivals eye his seat

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) remains publicly undecided about his political future as the 2024 race for his seat heats up.

Romney, 76, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in April, allowing him to fundraise for a potential reelection bid without officially getting in the race. Filings for the second fundraising quarter of this year show that his campaign committee has just under $1.6 million in cash on hand as of late July. The potential candidate raised less than $22,000 from individual donors in the second quarter, according to filings.


While the numbers are a small sum, the Utah senator and former presidential nominee has a large donor network and a $300 million fortune he’ll be able to tap into if and when he launches his bid for a second Senate term.

Romney, a prominent foe of former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly expressed confidence that he would win if he runs again, and polls don’t necessarily dispute his assertion. The 2012 GOP presidential candidate has dominated surveys of 2024 Utah voters, both in the primary and general elections. In addition to his strong polling, Romney also has time. The GOP primary in Utah is not until next June.

“I’m confident that I would win if I decide to run. I’ll have the resources, and I believe the people of Utah would be with me,” Romney told reporters in February.

A Romney campaign spokesperson did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment on the senator’s reelection plans, though the Utah Republican has said he expects to announce his decision sometime this fall.

In 2018, Romney won the Senate GOP primary with a comfortable margin despite failing to secure the state Republican Party’s nomination at their convention. He went on to deliver a 32-point victory in the general election.

Polling indicates the margins could be closer in this cycle’s primary, where Romney already has one GOP challenger and a number of others considering bids.

A number of those mulling a challenge have been encouraged to get in the race by Trump himself, who has long been vocal about his desire to oust the Utah senator from public office.

Among them is Utah state House Speaker Brad Wilson, who launched an exploratory committee in April and is holding off on an announcement until Romney makes a decision. Of those considering a bid, Wilson has polled the most competitively against Romney. He also secured the endorsements of nearly 50 state legislators for his Senate bid last month.

Romney still polls well ahead of Wilson and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who launched his bid in May and has the backing of conservative commentator Mark Levin, though surveys have found that a majority of voters remain undecided.

There’s also Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who served as the state’s co-chairman for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Reports of Reyes potentially challenging Romney have been circulating for years, as Trump encouraged Utah allies to take the senator on in 2024. Reyes and his advisers have said since last year that he was facing pressure to get in the race.

Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chaired the House Oversight Committee before landing at Fox News, has also expressed interest in running. He has said he’ll make a final decision about getting in the race in the fall.

Meanwhile, former national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien, a Utah resident who served under Trump, said in late August that he wasn’t considering a Senate bid.

Securing the GOP nomination will be an uphill battle for anyone who chooses to challenge Romney, who has the full support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“He’s an incredibly effective senator,” McConnell said of Romney last month.

Given that the seat is expected to remain in Republican hands, the GOP primary will likely be the main event.


Democrats experimented in the red state in 2022 by coalescing behind retired CIA agent Evan McMullin’s independent bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

The effort failed, and Lee coasted to reelection with an 11-point victory. The experiment also spelled doom for Democrats in the state, where Romney has yet to pick up a single Democratic challenger for this cycle.

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