Mitt Romney Could Get Primaried By Key Trump Ally

( Though Republican(ish) Senator Mitt Romney is not up for reelection until 2024, Utah’s Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes is considering a primary challenge against him.

According to Politico, Reyes, who backed former President Trump’s challenge to the 2020 election, has in recent weeks discussed a possible 2024 primary challenge with key figures in Utah politics and allies of Trump. He is expected to decide in May.

Politico spoke with someone familiar with the matter who said Reyes is seriously considering running for the Senate in 2024 whether or not the 75-year-old Romney runs for reelection.

Some NeverTrump Republicans are urging Romney to run for president in 2024, however, Politico writes that “multiple political operatives in Utah” suspect Romney is looking to retire from politics when his Senate term ends.

Carson Jorgensen, the chairman of the Utah GOP told Politico that Trump will find someone to run against Romney in 2024 whether or not Trump plans to run for president.

Reyes, who served as the co-chair of Trump’s 2020 campaign in Utah, met with the former president in September and December of 2020. And at both meetings, Trump encouraged Reyes to challenge Romney.

Trump’s spokesman Taylor Budowich wouldn’t directly say if the former president has urged Reyes to run for the Senate, only telling Politico that there isn’t a Republican candidate who isn’t looking for Trump’s support. He said it “goes without question” that Romney will be replaced in 2024 by an America First Republican.

State party rules prevent the Utah GOP from taking sides in a primary. However, Jorgensen told Politico that at least three-quarters of Utah’s Republican activists have soured on Mitt Romney, in part over his very vocal opposition to Trump.

And while Trump’s style was off-putting to the Mormons who make up the majority of Utah during the 2016 election, Republicans in the state warmed to Trump after he was elected. And according to Politico Sean Reyes was one of Trump’s staunchest allies in the state.

In 2018, Romney won his Senate seat in a landslide, and his approval has risen in recent months. In a poll released last month, Romney’s approval rating in the state was 51 percent.

Politico reports that Reyes is not only popular among pro-Trump Republicans, he has also maintained good relationships with “the pro-Romney donor class.” Many in Utah politics believe Reyes is capable of “threading the needle between both worlds.”