Former President Donald Trump’s GOP voters all over the country are angry at the seven Republican senators who voted to convict him of ‘inciting insurrection’ Jan. 6 as knuckleheads stormed the U.S. Capitol Building.
They are particularly angry at Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who has been a thorn in Trump’s foot since the former president passed over him as a choice for secretary of state.
Unfortunately, most of those voters don’t live in the Beehive State so in that regard, it doesn’t really matter what they think of Romney; all that matters when he comes up for reelection in 2024 are the voters in his state.
That said, it’s likely that they’ll have a choice when the Utah primary season rolls around, and to many Utahans, his name is a familiar one: Former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
During a segment on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday, Chaffetz indicated he is likely to dip his toe in the water in the next few years to gauge whether challenging a senator who has never been a vocal, public ally of the man who currently commands his party is a viable option.
“Yes, I would,” Chaffetz said when asked about a potential run. “I’d think about it.”
“I love Fox, don’t get me wrong,” the lawmaker-turned-Fox contributor quickly added. “I love it here at Fox but yes, I’ve thought about it,” he said.
Chaffetz decided not to seek reelection in 2018.
“For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector,” he said at the time.
He would actually resign his seat before the end of his term, likely to get started on Fox, and he was replaced by Rep. John Curtis, a Republican who currently holds the seat, which is Utah’s 3rd Congressional District.
The Epoch Times added:
Romney won election to the Senate in 2018 with Trump’s backing. But he has emerged as one of the former president’s harshest GOP critics, and on Saturday became the only lawmaker to vote twice to convict him.
The other senator representing the state, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), voted to acquit Trump. The former president was acquitted because the vote was 43-57, short of the 67 votes required for conviction.
Several state Republican parties immediately voted to censure their senators for backing an impeachment conviction. They include censures of Louisiana’s Sen. Bill Cassidy and North Carolina’s Richard Burr; reports said Maine’s GOP may vote to censure Sen. Susan Collins as well.
But interestingly, Utah’s Republican Party isn’t moving to censure Romney — which could prove to be an ominous sign for any primary challenger.
“Our senators have both been criticized for their vote,” they said. “The difference between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought.
State GOP officials added that “disagreement is natural and healthy in a party that is based on principles – not persona.”
Maybe, but Utah’s GOP base may have something else to say about that. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, a petition drive has been initiated by voters to censure Romney who they say “misrepresented himself as a Republican” while failing to “represent the average conservative Utah Republican voter.”
Maybe Chaffetz sees an opening after all.