Politicians, colleagues thank Romney for service to Utah, country

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Sep 13, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Moments after Sen. Mitt Romney announced his somewhat surprising decision to not run for reelection, other Utah political leaders shared gratitude for the work he has done to help the state.

VIDEO: Full Romney briefing on decision not to run for reelection

"Sen. Romney has served with distinction at the highest levels of government and we’re incredibly grateful for his commitment to this country. Our state and our nation have benefited from his principled leadership and patriotism," Utah Gov. Spencer Cox posted to social media.

Romney's colleague in the U.S. Senate, Mike Lee, posted a message following the announcement.

"I want to thank Sen. Romney for his many years of public service. I wish him the very best of success in his future endeavors, and I know that his family will enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with him," he said.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell spoke about his colleague on Capitol Hill.

“The U.S. Senate is known to attract bright and proven public servants. However, we rarely get to welcome new Senators already as accomplished and well-regarded as Mitt Romney," wrote McConnell. "The Senate has been fortunate to call our friend from Utah a colleague these past four and a half years, and I am sorry to learn that he will depart our ranks at the end of next year."

Utah Rep. Blake Moore also took to social media to honor Romney who was elected to the Senate in 2018.

"I thank Sen.Romney for his service to Utah and thoughtful message on his decision," he wrote. "I'm grateful to have worked with him on critical issues including strengthening our posture against China, preserving the Great Salt Lake, advocating for Hill Air Force Base, and tackling our national debt.

"I wish Senator Romney the very best in his next endeavors."

Even though Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson was defeated by Romney when running against him in the 2018 Senate election, she had nothing but kind things to look say on social media Wednesday.

"I’ve never been a bigger fan of a former opponent than I am of Sen. Romney. We disagree on many things but his unwavering commitment to our country and the principles upon which it was built are worthy of our respect and admiration. His leadership will be sorely missed," she wrote.

Later in the afternoon, Rep. John Curtis took to X, formally known as Twitter, to express his gratitude to Romney.

"I want to express my appreciation to Senator Romney for his dedication to public service. I look forward to our continued work on behalf of Utahns and wish Ann and Mitt the best," he posted to social media.

Rep. Chris Stewart also shared a message of thanks.

"Thank you Sen. Romney for your dedicated public service to our state and to the country. I wish you and Ann all the best."

In his congratulations statement, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson may have signaled his intentions on replacing Romney in Washington.

"Stay tuned," wrote Wilson after thanking Romney for his years of service to the state.

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump took a more harsh tone against the man who voted to impeach him while in office. In a post to his Truth Social site, Trump didn't hold back, saying Romney "did not serve with distinction" and that his decision was "fantastic news" for America and Utah.