Sen. Mitt Romney announces he will not be seeking reelection

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney announced he will not be seeking reelection in 2024.

Man in suit talking to reporters

Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney announced that he will not be seeking reelection for his Senate seat, stating the need for a new generation of leaders.

“They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in,” he said in a video statement posted on YouTube.

Citing his age as a key reason for choosing to retire, he said at the end of another term he would be in his mid-80s. He will serve as a U.S. senator until January 2025.

“The next generation of leaders must take America to the next stage of global leadership,” Romney said.

The son of the famous governor and presidential nominee George Romney, Mitt Romney has a long political history, serving as Massachusetts governor before becoming the Republican presidential candidate in 2012— an election he lost to former President Barack Obama. Romney has been serving as senator since 2019, and has only served a single term.

In a news conference at Capitol Hill, Romney stated that the reasons behind his decision to retire were not out of concern for his approval rating polls in Utah.

“There was a recent poll in Utah which had me showing some very strong numbers,” he said. “I don’t have any question in my mind [that] I’d have won if I ran again.”

Polls from August show Romney has a 56% approval rating in Utah, according to a poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates.

Romney dodged questions on if his decision to not seek reelection was related to his long-standing feud with former President Trump. But, he said in an announcement video that Biden and Trump are not leading their party to confront the issues that face America.

In an exclusive excerpt from McKay Coppins’ biography, “Romney: A Reckoning,” Romney recalled a conversation with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when former President Donald Trump was in the middle of an impeachment trial. McConnell said to Romney, “you’re lucky… you can say the things that we all think. You’re in a position to say things about him that we all agree with but can’t say.” A spokesperson said that McConnell never recalled this conversation.

Romney refused to endorse any potential candidates that would seek to replace him in the senate and declined to speculate on who might replace him. The election to replace Romney will be held on Nov. 5, 2024.