Romney's resignation a message to political leadership
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, pictured in May 2019 AFP / SAUL LOEB/AFP

Former Republican presidential candidate (2012) and current US Senator Mitt Romney (R-Ut) announced he won't seek reelection in 2024. Although he is not retiring until January 2025, the 76-year-old lawmaker's move sends a clear message to his colleagues. "It is time to let the new people take charge of shaping its future", there are no other reasons behind this radical decision. The message answers the question heating the debate inside the Beltway and means a concern for the American people.

Gerontocracy or democracy? Many in Washington ask themselves this question with anxiety every time they see President Joe Biden on their TV and smartphones stumbling up the stairs of Air Force One, making a wrong turn on his way to or from the podium at the Garden Roses in the White House, or in another public event, or sometimes changing the name of a person in his frequents speeches or dialogues with the press.

This image is also projected by the political leadership inside the Beltway. The honorable legislative body is composed of octogenarian figures in their most representative positions. Just a few days ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell froze in front of the cameras, unable to utter a word, as did Senator Dianne Feinstein, who was repeatedly confused in hearings and interviews. Furthermore, an 82-year-old Nancy Pelosi, is running for re-election instead of considering retirement.

On the other hand, the province seems to want to teach the leadership in DC a lesson. One of the most respected senators in Washington and revered in his home state of Utah, is stepping down to give a chance to new faces in the political rodeo.

Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate and consistently considered as one of the 100 most powerful people in America, has resigned. Romney justified his decision by saying that it is up to the new generations to step forward and shape the policies of the 21st century, not the generations of World War II.

Within days, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson submitted his resignation from the high office of the Beehive State's state legislature.

"I can't serve the people of my district and be Speaker of the House and run for office at the same time. I thought it was best for the legislature and the people of Utah to have a full-time Speaker of the House," Wilson said.

Wilson already announced in April that he would run to fill the vacancy left by Romney in April and will formally launch his campaign on September 27.

His candidacy joins others seeking to replace the Utah senator, including renowned anti-trafficking activist Tim Ballard, of "Sounds of Freedom," a recent film by Mexican producer and actor Eduardo Verástegui.

According to local media, Ballard has been embroiled in a bitter controversy and the Mormon Church has publicly disowned him for "morally unacceptable behavior" and for "betraying" the church's prophet and leader of the Latter-day Saints Church, Russell Ballard.

Without the support of the Mormon Church, it is almost impossible for any candidate to win a major office in the state of Utah, which fits Wilson's aspirations.

In addition to having the blessing of the Mormons, Wilson is a moderate Republican in the same vein as Romney.

Victor Hugo Pinilla-Coxe, Venezuelan-American activist and vice-president of the Utah Republican Latino Coalition, said he is not aware of the details of Wilson's resignation. "Unfortunately, we have not been able to get our Republican leaders to understand the importance of minorities in public life," said.

Other leaders of the Beehive State's Latino political spectrum, such as state Senator Luz Escamilla, highlighted Wilson's positive attitude toward the agreement and cooperation. "I want to acknowledge Speaker Wilson's years of dedicated service to our great state and his significant contributions to the Utah Legislature. It has been a pleasure working alongside him and sponsoring bills together during our time in the Legislature. I commend him for his commitment to the people of Utah and his efforts to find common ground," said Escamilla, Utah Senate Minority Caucus Leader.

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