Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson announces resignation ahead of potential Senate run

The Spectrum – Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson announced this week his plans to resign from the state legislature as he eyes a run to replace outgoing Republican U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney.

Wilson did not give a specific reason for his plans to leave the statehouse but the move comes shortly after he was the first member of the GOP to say he might make a run to replace Romney after the sitting senator and former presidential hopeful announced he wouldn’t seek reelection.

Wilson was named Speaker in 2019. A real estate developer by trade, the Kaysville Republican was first elected in 2010. He is expected to make official his candidacy for Romney’s Senate seat sometime later this month.

“Serving in the Utah House of Representatives and as speaker of the House has been the honor, privilege and opportunity of a lifetime — and I don’t say that lightly,” Wilson said in a written release. “I did not anticipate the lifelong impact of my decision to run for public office nearly 14 years ago. My service in the Legislature stems far beyond the policies passed and progress achieved. I have built lifelong friendships and come to love and appreciate the people of Utah. I am excited for my next chapter and have full confidence in my peers in the House, Senate and executive branch to continue making Utah the best place to live, learn, work and play.”

Wilson said he would resign effective Nov. 15.

The House, which is controlled by a large Republican majority, will vote to replace Wilson as speaker. Current House Majority Leader Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, said he would plan to run for the position.

Wilson’s announcement comes on the heels of Romney saying he would not run for reelection, saying that at age 76 he felt it was time for a younger generation of leaders.

Some took that message as a swipe at the two frontrunners for the 2024 presidential election, with President Joe Biden at age 80 and former President Donald Trump age 77.

“The times we’re living in redemand the next generation step up and express their point of view and to make the decisions that will shape American politics over the coming century,” Romney said.