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Trump endorses GOP Utah Senate candidate looking to replace Romney: 'He will be a GREAT Senator'

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Trent Staggs, a Republican mayor seeking to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, in Utah’s GOP primary race for the Senate.

“Trent Staggs is 100% MAGA, and is running to fill The Mitt Romney, a Total Loser, Seat as the next Senator from the Great State of Utah,” Trump wrote in a Saturday morning post on Truth Social. “A Highly Successful Entrepreneur, who has served brilliantly as Mayor of Riverton for the past six years, Trent knows how to Create Jobs, Stop Inflation, Grow the Economy, and Secure the Border.”

“As your next Senator, Trent will help us Unleash American Energy, Support our Military/Vets, and Protect our always under siege Second Amendment,” he added. “Trent Staggs has my Complete and Total Endorsement – He will be a GREAT Senator, and never let you down!”

Trump’s endorsement of Staggs came on the same day nearly a dozen Republicans — including former House Speaker Brad Wilson and current Utah Rep. John Curtis — squared off for the party’s nomination in a race expected to reveal the brand of political conservatism that most appeals to modern voters in the state.


Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who gained notoriety in 2020 for his opposition to mask mandates amid the coronavirus pandemic, announced his decision to enter the race last May, prior to Romney’s announcement that he would retire from the chamber at the end of his term next year.

“I love my children, and I’m worried about the country they will inherit if I sit on the sidelines,” Staggs told Fox News Digital at the time. “For too long, we’ve allowed government bureaucrats to spend away the next generation’s future, and we need more voices willing to push back.”

“Mitt Romney fits in the Senate much better than I do. We’ve elected far too many people who ‘fit in’ in Washington. I’m not going to Washington to make friends, I’m going to make change,” he added.

Romney, who won the GOP nomination for president in 2012 and was later defeated by Barack Obama, announced in September that he would not be seeking a second term in the Senate.


Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney

In announcing his decision, Romney declared he’s not “retiring from the fight,” and he bashed both President Biden and Trump while calling for “a new generation of leaders.”

“I have spent my last 25 years in public service of one kind or another. At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s. Frankly, it’s time 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,” Romney said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital at the time.

Staggs was one of the first candidates to pose a potential challenge to Romney and has since picked up endorsements from several prominent Republicans, including Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, among others.

He has also received the backing of Utah’s largest police union — the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, which labeled Staggs as “a longtime supporter of law enforcement and specifically the FOP.”

Republican Utah Mayor Trent Staggs

“He understands the need to protect our safety as well as our working conditions, and we wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy,” the union said in a statement to Fox last June.


The winner at Saturday’s state GOP convention, which tends to favor far-right candidates who appeal to the most zealous party members, may get a bump in the race. Some losing candidates still may qualify for the June 25 primary ballot by gathering signatures, so Republican voters will ultimately decide the party’s pick to succeed Romney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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