Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney won’t seek reelection in 2024, marking end to decadeslong political career

FILE - Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and other senators arrive at the chamber for votes, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. Romney will not run for reelection in 2024. The former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor announced his intentions in a video statement Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he will not run for reelection, ending a storied two-decade political career that included the 2012 Republican GOP nomination for president and a term as Massachusetts governor.

Romney, 76, said the country’s many challenges call for a younger generation of leaders. He said the U.S. would be better served if the two front-runners for their parties’ 2024 presidential nominations — Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump — stepped aside. Biden is 80 and Trump is 77.


“The times we’re living in redemand the next generation step up and express their point of view and to make the decisions that will shape American politics over the coming century,” Romney said in a news conference at the Capitol. He said baby boomers like him are “not the right ones to be making the decisions for tomorrow.”

He said after he leaves the Senate he plans to focus on getting more young people voting and involved in the political process.

As the GOP’s 2012 nominee for the White House, Romney campaigned across America as a buttoned-up former Massachusetts governor and private equity executive. But with Trump’s populist rise as the party’s dominant figure, Romney’s brand of Republicanism shifted from establishment to outlier. He was the only GOP member of Congress to vote to convict Trump at both of his impeachment trials.

Romney said at the news conference that he belongs to the “wise wing of the Republican Party” and doesn’t think it will fade away.

“My wing of the party talks about policy and about issues that will make a difference in the lives of the American people.

The Trump wing of the party talks about resentments of various kinds and getting even and settling scores and revisiting the 2020 election.”

Romney said he spoke to Biden on Wednesday, and the president wished him well.

He is the sixth incumbent senator to announce plans to retire after the end of the term in 2025, joining Republican Mike Braun of Indiana and Democrats Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Dianne Feinstein of California and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell praised Romney in a statement, noting the breadth of experience he brought to the chamber and saying his deep faith and integrity had inspired his colleagues.

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