One-time Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, 76, will not run for reelection in the Senate, he announced on Wednesday.
The elder statesman amassed a multimillion-dollar net worth working in private equity. Then he swapped careers: In 2003, he was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts, following in the footsteps of his father, who served as governor of Michigan.
At the height of his political career, Romney was the Republican party’s pick for the 2012 presidential election. He received 206 electoral votes, but they weren’t enough to defeat then-President Barack Obama.
The most prominent Mormon politician of his time, Romney moved to Utah where he had a political second-coming years after losing his bid for the White House.
Since 2019, Romney has served in the Senate, where he has been an outspoken critic of both Republican former President Donald Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden. His record of crisscrossing party lines has earned him a unique mix of supporters and detractors on both sides of the aisle.
Voted to convict Trump
Romney voted to convict his own party’s president in both of Trump’s impeachment trials. “[The president is] guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said.
Once a standard-bearer, he has found himself an outsider among many Republicans. Romney has for the most part stuck to his beliefs while the Republican Party’s talking points have shifted over the last several years.
“I doubt my support will mean anything positive to any of the [2024 presidential] candidates at the finish line,” he said recently, reflecting on his diminishing presence in his own party. “I’m not looking to get involved in that.”
“At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s. Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” he said in a video posted to X on Wednesday, apparently referring to older colleagues who have made headlines over concerns about their age.
Pelosi still in picture
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 83, has decided to run for reelection, igniting outrage from some detractors. Senator Mitch McConnell, 81, froze while speaking in two recent press conferences, raising questions about his competence to lead.
Romney is the sixth incumbent senator to announce he’ll retire when his term ends in 2025 — joining Republican Mike Braun of Indiana and Democrats Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Dianne Feinstein of California and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
“[Young people] need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in,” Romney said.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters and The Associated Press.