Trent Staggs, Mayor of Riverton City and candidate for the U.S. Senate, recently sat down with The Review to discuss why he was running for the Senate and his vision for what he would do as Utah’s junior Senator.
Staggs was the first to announce his campaign back in May for the seat that is currently held by Senator Mitt Romney. Since then, Romney has announced that he will not seek reelection, opening the field to a slew of Republicans hoping to become the next Senator.
“I think it’s time that somebody stands up and actually says enough is enough,” Staggs asserted. “That’s what I think this election is about: somebody who is willing to stand up to the establishment and say ‘No, we’re not going to continue down the status quo.’ I am not interested in maintaining power for myself, enriching myself through this office as so many tend to do. It’s despicable.”
Since Romney’s announcement, Staggs told The Review that he was not surprised by the Senator’s decision, saying that their internal campaign polling had found that he had a 30% approval rating. He specified that he was sure a lot of things went into his decision.
“I am sure that played a part,” Staggs pondered. “My campaign messaging is going to be the same. It’s the same we have been focusing on — smaller government, safer families, and stronger economy.”
Identifying as a lifelong Utahn, Trent Staggs grew up in Orem, Utah, before graduating from Bingham Highschool in South Jordan. Later entering business and then local government as a part of Riverton’s city council, he has served as Riverton’s Mayor for the last 10 years.
“That is what we need more so than ever at the federal level,” Staggs stated when referring to his record and experience in local government. “It’s that experience in local government that I think lends the proper perspective on the proper role of government. Mayors have to deal with federal, state, and county overreach. … I have dealt with all those issues.”
When it came to policy, Staggs made it clear that he was not going to Washington to make any friends. “I am going to make change. I cannot stress this point enough, and I am doing this for my kids. We cannot have thirty-three trillion in debt. To me, that is the high of immorality.”
The federal budget was a big topic during The Review’s interview with Staggs. He identified that the pattern of passing continual resolutions feeds the problem of these large omnibus bills that are passed that are filled with pork belly legislation. Out of all topics, Staggs identified this as the most important to him.
“If … the only thing I can do in Congress,” Staggs began. “… is to go ahead and set a process that gets us to a balance budget, … that I think will be monumental.”
Later in The Review’s interview, education, public lands, healthcare and immigration were discussed. Staggs stressed the importance of strong conservative leadership in Congress to get legislation passed. He said that he would not support Mitch McConnell to be majority leader.
When it came to the primaries, Staggs addressed criticisms that his opponent, Brad Wilson, levied on his challengers during his campaign announcement.
“I am the only true Conservative in this race,” Staggs asserted. “I think Brad Wilson embodies the establishment in this state.”
Staggs asserted that Wilson has the establishment and lobbyists supporting and donating to his campaign. As The Review has reported, Wilson has outraised Staggs by nearly 10 to 1.
“I am not an insider,” Staggs said. “[I] have had the courage to stand up and say no and fight back the establishment.”
At the end of the interview, Staggs wanted to ensure students were left with a message that he would take the fight to the establishment. “These are things that I have done time and again in my career. That is what this election is about. This is your future. … This is why I entered the race: because I couldn’t stand the status quo. I have had a record of fighting the status quo and producing change. … I can do the same for the state of Utah and for the country.”
Editor-In-Chief of the UVU Review (2022-2024)
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