(UnitedVoice.com) – It would be fair to say Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) isn’t popular with everyone in the GOP. Often labeled a RINO, he openly opposed former president Donald Trump. That might be about to backfire on him, though; now he’s facing a primary challenge from the MAGA wing of the party.
On May 23, Trent Staggs, the Republican mayor of Riverton, Utah, announced that he’s planning to run against Romney in next year’s primary. Romney has confirmed that he’s filed the paperwork to run for re-election but hasn’t made a final decision yet. If he does run, he’s going to be facing opposition from the Right. In his first campaign video, Staggs highlighted a range of liberal policies Romney has backed, saying he’s only seen Romney fighting for “the establishment, wokeness, open borders, impeaching President Trump, and putting us even deeper into debt.”
Romney is generally conservative; he regularly calls for lower government spending and opposes the Biden administration’s green agenda. However, he’s also strongly critical of Trump and voted to impeach him. Romney has supported liberal causes like Black Lives Matter. Staggs recently told Fox News that Romney “fits in the Senate much better than I do. We’ve elected far too many people who ‘fit in’ in Washington.”
Staggs is on the GOP’s conservative wing; he made headlines during the pandemic by opposing mask and vaccine mandates, saying government intervention wasn’t working and we need to learn to live with it. If he can beat Romney to the party’s nomination, he’s almost certain to be elected to the Senate; Utah is a long-time GOP stronghold. On the other hand, Romney is popular with the state’s conservatives. In the 2018 primary, he took over 70% of the vote. Staggs has a big hill to climb if he wants to overturn that sort of support.
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