Riverton, Utah, Mayor Trent Staggs will challenge incumbent Sen. Mitt Romney in the 2024 Republican primary, he announced Tuesday.
Staggs is the second Utah Republican to move toward a primary challenge to Romney. Speaker of the state House Brad Wilson has been raising money through an exploratory committee formed in April, while state Attorney General Sean Reyes is also considering a bid.
“Washington is broken, and every time we compromise it costs us trillions. We have more IRS agents than border agents, and while we’re paying four dollars a gallon for gas, they’re sending money unchecked to Ukraine. We’re almost $32 trillion in debt. Enough is enough,” Staggs said in a video posted to Twitter.
Utah needs another proven fighter and conservative in the Senate. We need someone unafraid to stand against the Washington establishment. That’s who I am, but I need your help to get there https://t.co/yg5tnTG4mV pic.twitter.com/qof9JQYi7C
— Mayor Trent Staggs (@MayorStaggs) May 23, 2023
“A few years ago Mitt Romney moved to Utah and told us what he’d fight for. But they only things I’ve seen him fight for are the establishment, wokeness, open borders, impeaching President Trump, and putting us even deeper into debt,” he continued.
First elected mayor in 2017, Staggs previously served on the Riverton City Council. He won reelection in 2021. Staggs garnered nationwide attention in early 2o23 for his opposition to sexually-charged materials in school libraries. (RELATED: Mayor Loses It At School Board After Discovering ‘Filth’)
“This filth needs to be removed from our schools. There’s over one hundred volumes that one parent organization [put] together. A hundred volumes still in Jordan School Districts that clearly violate the law,” he said at a school board meeting.
Romney attended Brigham Young University for college and returned to Utah in 2013. He was elected to the Senate by nearly 32 points in 2018 to replace the retiring Orrin Hatch. He became the first member of Congress to vote to impeach or remove a president of his own party in 202o, and voted to remove Trump again in 2021. Since then, he has participated in bipartisan groups working on infrastructure spending and gun control.
Shortly after his second vote to remove Trump from office, Republicans at the state party convention lustily booed Romney. The first-term senator, who has not yet announced whether or not he will run again, is descended from Mormon settlers who founded Utah in the 19th century.