Robert O'Brien, national security adviser under former President Donald Trump, will not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
Last Wednesday Romney said he will not run for reelection in 2024.
O’Brien, who was urged to run by U.S. House members, planned to announce his decision Monday morning on conservative host Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Politico reported.
A source told Politico that O’Brien, who recently moved to Utah, believes there’s a deep GOP bench in the red state. He has never run for elected office.
Meanwhile, state House Speaker Brad Wilson has set up an exploratory committee for the seat, Politico reported.
The outlet last week said Wilson boasted over the summer of having raised more than $2.2 million in his first two months — with roughly half of that coming from a personal loan — demonstrating he could self-fund to differentiate himself from a likely crowded primary field.
Moms for America put its endorsement behind Trent Staggs, the sitting mayor of Riverton, Utah. In June, Staggs also was endorsed by Utah's largest police union.
Other candidates are likely to enter the fray following Romney’s announcement, according to Politico.
"Statewide open races in Utah are wild," said Suzy Matheson, a former delegate for the state GOP, Politico reported. "Anybody who has the slightest bit of name recognition comes out in full force."
Politico last week reported that several "hawkish Republicans," including China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., had encouraged O’Brien to run.
O’Brien in recent years co-founded international consulting and advisory firm American Global Strategies. He is also a partner emeritus at the law firm Larson.
Politico reported that before the end of the Trump administration O’Brien told friends and colleagues he was interested in possibly running for president in 2024.
Romney, a former presidential candidate and governor of Massachusetts, made his announcement in a video statement. The 76-year-old said the country is ready for new leadership.
"Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders," he said. "They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in."
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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