Romney Faces a Challenger for His Senate Seat

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Move over, Pierre Delecto. You have some competition for your spot in the U.S. Senate. Riverton, Utah, Mayor Trent Staggs has announced that he is challenging Mitt Romney in the upcoming election. His announcement via Twitter started off as the standard-issue GOP candidate fare, but Staggs quickly went after Mitt for the things most Utah Republicans have been thinking, and for that matter, saying.


Romney picked up his seat largely as a result of combining his Mormon roots with the success of the 2002 Winter Olympics. But that was not enough to convince many of the Utah GOP faithful that his conservative bona fides were legit, and Romney lost to challenger Mike Kennedy and was forced into a primary. Romney has always managed to be conspicuously “busy” when it comes to Utah Republican conventions.

Some in the media are under the impression that Utahns love Romney. All that proves is that the media probably needs to talk to more Utahns. Beehive State Republicans were already distrustful of Romney after he tanked his campaign against Obama, and his track record on “RomneyCare,” and for that matter the fact that he is not actually from Utah and has not spent a great deal of time here as a resident also raised eyebrows.

After his election, Romney’s constant criticism of Trump did not help his image with GOP hardliners, and his weak, middle-of-the-road stance on immigration and refusal to endorse incumbent Mike Lee only made things worse. But perhaps what irks Utah Republicans most of all is the fact that Romney is neither Republican nor Democrat, but rather a career politician that tries to sample the “best” of both worlds for his own benefit.


This was evidenced last year when he came out in support of a carbon tax and the $1.7 trillion spending bill. Then there was this classic statement:

President Joe Biden is a genuinely good man, but he has yet been unable to break through our national malady of denial, deceit, and distrust. A return of Donald Trump would feed the sickness, probably rendering it incurable. Congress is particularly disappointing: Our elected officials put a finger in the wind more frequently than they show backbone against it. Too often, Washington demonstrates the maxim that for evil to thrive only requires good men to do nothing.

No sentient mammal that has ever leaned even slightly conservative or to the middle believes that Joe Biden is a “genuinely good man.” Clearly, the “R” after Romney’s name stands for “Romney” not “Republican.” And yet this individual, whose loyalty is only to himself and would be better suited peddling the snake oil he puts in his hair, actually told Politico last year that he thinks he could win re-election. Maybe in Massachusetts, but I doubt he would win an honest election in Utah. Of course, the progressives have been hard at work trying to undermine Utah Republicans for a while, so who knows?

For his part, Staggs pledges to fight for secure borders, energy independence, and a stronger military with fewer bases around the world. He has also stated that “Wokeness is a false religion with no business in our government. It must be ripped out wherever it shows its ugly head.” Most of his pitch so far is the standard GOP bullet points. And while most Republican voters are not impressed by those since they have heard them all a thousand times or more, Staggs has a solid track record in city leadership. While noting Romney’s voting record, Staggs told The Deseret News:


I just can’t believe that we’re at $32 trillion in debt. And I think that’s the height of immorality to have really put that level of burden on my kids and on future generations. It’s time to be uncompromising with respect to getting our fiscal house in order.”

We saw in 2020 especially, we saw the heavy hand of government. I was one that said no and pushed back on lockdowns, on mandates,” he said. “I pushed back considerably because I don’t believe that’s in the purview of government. And I think I’ve been proven right.

Can Staggs deliver? If he wins, he will be a freshman senator. But at least for the moment, Staggs is taking the positions that were vacated by Romney long ago, if he ever held them at all. Here’s hoping he takes Romney’s Senate seat as well.


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