Riverton, Utah mayor Trent Staggs has thrown his hat in the ring to challenge Senator Mitt Romney’s seat. Staggs made his candidacy announcement on Twitter, emphasizing the need for a proven fighter and a conservative representative in the Senate. He argued that Utah required someone who would protect the state from the establishment in Washington and fearlessly confront the powers in the Capitol. This Twitter post was made on May 23.
Back in April, State House Speaker Brad Wilson emerged as Romney’s first likely challenger and echoed a similar message to Staggs. Wilson declared that Utah needed a conservative fighter. The memory of Senator Romney’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump still lingers among Utah’s Republican voters. Some Republicans view Romney unfavorably because of this vote, labeling him as a RINO (Republican in Name Only).
Staggs, in his campaign announcement, raised concerns among Utah Republicans by accusing Romney of supporting “wokeness” and open borders, and holding him partly responsible for increasing the national debt. Staggs also expressed his disapproval of Romney’s decision to vote for the impeachment of Donald Trump on two occasions.
Although Senator Romney had not yet confirmed his intention to run for reelection at the time of the report, he had filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in April. Romney had been contemplating his reelection bid since February, during which he had been openly critical of his own Republican Party. The Associated Press reported that Romney was among those who criticized Representative George Santos, who was involved in a scandal for seizing a prominent seat during the State of the Union address.
Subsequently, Santos faced charges of criminal fraud for allegedly misusing campaign finances for personal gain through his companies. Santos managed to secure three unidentified individuals to act as guarantors for his $500,000 bail in the fraud case.