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If never-Trumper Sen. Mitt Romney thought he was just going to sail to reelection next year, he was mistaken.

The Utah carpetbagger who twice voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump after the 45th commander-in-chief would not make him secretary of state will be challenged by a rising GOP star in the state if he decides, in fact, to run for reelection.

Riverton, Utah, Mayor Trent Staggs announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for the seat.

“Right now, Washington is broken,” Staggs said in a video announcing his candidacy. “And every time we compromise, it costs us trillions.

“We have more IRS agents than border agents. And while we’re paying $4 a gallon for gas, they’re sending our money unchecked to Ukraine. Now, we’re almost $32 trillion in debt. Enough is enough,” he added.

He went on to note how, several years ago, Romney “moved to Utah and told us what he’d fight for.”

At the time, Romney pledged to end illegal immigration, putting America “on a path to a balanced budget” and to “push back against federal overreach and to confirm judges who follow the Constitution.”

But he didn’t work toward those goals, Staggs said.

“The only thing I’ve seen [Romney] fight for are the establishment, wokeness, open borders, impeaching President Trump and putting us even deeper into debt,” Staggs said.


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Romney said recently that he believes that Trump will again become the party’s 2024 nominee but he won’t be supporting him.

“I hope the jury of the American people reaches the same conclusion about Donald Trump. He just is not suited to be president of the United States and to be the person who we hold up to our children and the world as the leader of the free world,” Romney said.

“At some point when the people who work with you, your cabinet secretaries, and juries conclude that you’ve done something severely wrong, it’s time for us to recognize that the great majority of those who’ve worked with him is right and he’s wrong,” he added.

“I think President Trump is by far the most likely to become our nominee. If there’s an alternative to that, it would be only realistic if it narrows down to a two-person race at some point,” he told reporters.

“There’s always a personal interest on the part of the campaign — particularly the campaign staff, and consultants, as well as the candidate — to stay in. And to say, ‘Hey, look, I came in second. So I’m the person that really ought to get the nomination four years from now,’” Romney noted further.

“And so it really is up to the donors and other influential people that know the candidate, his family or her family, to say, ‘Hey, time to move on.’”

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.