Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, announces he won’t seek re-election, citing the need for new leaders.

In a video statement on Wednesday, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a prominent critic of former President Donald Trump, announced that he will not seek re-election next year.

Romney, 76, has been serving in the Senate since 2019, following his tenure as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He famously ran as the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012, ultimately losing to President Barack Obama.

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Citing his long history of public service spanning 25 years, Romney expressed his belief that it’s time for a new generation of leaders to shape the nation’s future. He acknowledged that by the end of another term, he would be in his mid-eighties, signaling that it’s time for fresh voices to lead.

Despite opting out of re-election, Romney pledged to continue his role as a United States Senator until January 2025, emphasizing his commitment to serving out his current term.

In his video statement, Romney also touched on the need for new leadership to address pressing challenges facing the country, including the national debt, climate change, and the ambitions of authoritarian regimes like Russia and China. He criticized both President Joe Biden and former President Trump, asserting that neither has effectively guided their respective parties in confronting these issues.

Throughout his political career, Romney has been a prominent figure within the Republican Party and a vocal critic of Trump. His opposition to Trump began during the 2016 presidential race when he characterized Trump as a “phony” and a “fraud.”

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Romney’s willingness to speak out against Trump continued during the former president’s time in office. He notably voted to convict Trump during both impeachment trials, making him one of the few Senate Republicans to do so.

In response to Romney’s announcement, former President Trump issued a statement on Truth Social, celebrating the decision. Trump suggested that Romney’s departure from the Senate race would prevent a contentious primary fight and expressed satisfaction with the news.

Romney’s decision not to seek re-election leaves room for new leadership to emerge in Utah’s political landscape and adds to the ongoing evolution of the Republican Party.