Utah’s Republican state House Speaker Brad Wilson officially entered the race Wednesday for outgoing GOP Sen. Mitt Romney’s seat in 2024, according to a press release.
Wilson, who launched an exploratory committee for the seat in mid-April, announced his resignation from the state Legislature on Sept. 18, effective Nov. 15. The Republican’s Senate campaign platform is focused on cutting taxes, securing the border, bolstering parental rights in education, protecting the Second Amendment and strengthening American energy production, according to his website.
“I’m running for the United States Senate because our nation is at a crossroads and we need a fearless conservative fighter with the backbone to get things done,” Wilson said in a statement. “The stakes are too high to settle for another go-along-to-get-along politician that’ll cut and run when the fight gets tough. We need a bold, proven leader with the guts to turn this country around and light the path to a brighter future.”
Wilson’s exploratory committee raised $1 million in campaign contributions, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission filing. (RELATED: Utah’s State House Speaker Announces Resignation, Inches Toward Official Senate Launch)
As speaker, Wilson reduced taxes, implemented school choice legislation, enacted constitutional carry and protected religious freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic, his campaign website touts.
We must seize the moment. I know we can – because I’m a conservative optimist as much as I am a conservative fighter. pic.twitter.com/byhATqJx7m
— Brad Wilson (@electbradwilson) September 22, 2023
Romney announced on Sept. 13 that he would not seek another term in the upper chamber, where he took aim at President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, and decided it was “time for a new generation of leaders.” The newly-open seat prompted speculation across the state of which Republicans might vie for the nomination in Romney’s absence.
Before Wilson made his candidacy official, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs had the Republican primary field largely to himself. Other potential contenders are Republican Rep. John Curtis, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Thomas Wright, “Sound of Freedom” inspiration Tim Ballard, businessman Brad Bonham and political commentator Boyd Matheson.
Prior to Romney’s decision to retire, he lead with 45% support, followed by Wilson at 7%, Staggs at 5% and “another candidate” at 27%, according to an early September Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll.
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