Sen. Tuberville Endorses Republican Mayor Running To Replace Romney

When U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced in September that he would not be seeking another term in Congress, speculation began to swirl regarding who might enter the race to succeed him in the upper chamber.

One name that soon emerged was Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who confirmed nearly four months before Romney’s announcement that he planned to throw his hat in the ring whether or not the incumbent would be running for re-election.

He is currently vying for the GOP nomination against former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, U.S. Rep. John Curtis and several others. The primary election is scheduled for June 25.

The Staggs campaign received a boost this week when Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) offered a glowing endorsement. Although the mayor has racked up dozens of endorsements from officials across his own state, Tuberville’s statement marked his first from a member of the chamber in which he hopes to serve.

“I’m proud to endorse Trent Staggs for United States Senate,” the Alabama Republican said. “We don’t just need Republicans in Washington; we need conservatives who aren’t afraid to fight.”

Signaling his support of Utah’s other Republican senator, Tuberville added: “I look forward to having Mayor Staggs join myself and Sen. Mike Lee in taking on corruption, defending the unborn and fighting for the America First agenda.”

Staggs said he was “honored” to receive the senator’s endorsement and looks “forward to joining him in fighting against the radical left and defending liberty in Washington.”

For his part, Romney confirmed that he would not be offering his endorsement to anyone running to replace him.

“Utah is fortunate to have several candidates who are interested in serving in the Senate, and Sen. Romney appreciates their willingness to serve,” said Liz Johnson, a spokesperson for the outgoing senator. “He is staying out of the race.”

In expressing his interest in mounting a Senate bid last year, Staggs said that he admired Romney on a personal level but roundly rejected his policy positions.

“I think every time we compromise, it ends up costing us trillions of dollars,” he said at the time. “Some people, I think, go to D.C. to get along and try to fit in. And really, I’m not looking to go to Washington, D.C., to fit in. I’m wanting to actually make change … and I think that’s really what Utahns want. They want somebody who will champion bold, conservative action.”