Josh Romney won’t run to replace his father in the Senate next year

Online rumors have been swirling that the younger Romney was prepping a Senate run next year.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Josh Romney, right, joins his father Mitt Romney at an event in 2015. Josh Romney will not be running in 2024 to replace his father in the U.S. Senate, the senator's office said.

As the Republican field to replace Sen. Mitt Romney next year continues to expand, the list of notable Utahns who aren’t running is growing, too. The senator’s son, Josh Romney, is not prepping a 2024 U.S. Senate run.

Josh Romney is often bandied about as a potential candidate for political office in Utah. After flirting with a congressional run in 2008, his name has come up in connection with a run for lieutenant governor, a U.S. Senate bid and later a gubernatorial campaign.

News of his father’s retirement from political office ignited that rumor mill anew, but sources close to Romney told The Salt Lake Tribune he is “100% not going to run.”

The senator’s office also confirmed that Josh would not attempt to succeed his father next year.

“It’s pure nonsense,” spokesperson Liz Johnson told The Tribune when asked to comment on the rumors swirling around the younger Romney.

Romney’s absence does not dilute the pool of candidates who have already jumped in or are preparing to run.

On Wednesday, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson officially acknowledged he was running to replace Romney next year, dropping the ruse that he had not yet decided to join the race.

Along with Wilson, a pair of mayors have joined the queue seeking the GOP nomination next year — Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs and Roosevelt Mayor Rod Bird.

Those three likely won’t be the last Republicans to throw their hat into the ring. Utah Rep. John Curtis of the 3rd Congressional District is reportedly considering launching a bid to replace Romney in the coming days.

Josh Romney is the latest high-profile Republican to pass on a Senate campaign next year. Attorney General Sean Reyes and former Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien have publicly acknowledged they won’t run.