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Never Trumper Trent Staggs? Utah's Rinse and Repeat RINO cycle...

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

"He will never cave to the establishment DC cabal." - Charlie Kirk

Really, Charlie? He caved pretty quickly to Utah's establishment cabal, but I'm sure he'll be different once he gets to Washington. Since announcing his primary challenge to Mitt Romney, Trent Staggs has gained nationwide attention and praise for his efforts. However he has received little scrutiny on his record and continues to dodge answers about his own Never-Trumper antics in Utah. Being labeled a MAGA mayor without MAGA credentials to back it up. Utah isn't an easy place for an elected official to support Trump and Mayor Staggs continues to advance a narrative about himself that doesn't add up. Worse, he's following the same pattern of "I'm with Trump now" that's been played by Romney himself. Staggs has recently called out Romney's silence on Ukraine, which is great. He's had some great tweets on Ukraine and climate change – exactly what I want to see. But these aren't new issues, and Staggs has been silent for years. There are plenty of people in this state the left has used as a piñata and who have taken beatings for years, but Staggs isn't one of them.

Is Trent Staggs a Never Trumper or a newly minted MAGA candidate? On the eve of Trump's presidential announcement, 86 of Utah's elected officials did a press release calling on Governor DeSantis to form an exploratory committee to run for President. The press release was listed in order of office, with state offices first, then state senators, state legislators, and then mayors. The first mayor listed was Mayor Trent Staggs. He closed ranks with Utah's most vehement critics of Trump in an effort to use their elected offices to embarrass and intimidate President Trump and his supporters. This press release Staggs signed onto wasn't an endorsement of DeSantis or even just a call for him to run. It was a message to President Trump on the eve of his campaign announcement. The main writers of the press release were quick to point out, as was the local media, that this wasn't about DeSantis. This was about moving on from President Trump and making a statement that Super Tuesday Trump wouldn't get the state of Utah (Trump's leading in the primary polls +5 in Utah). The timing of the press release was political and an effort from Utah's establishment to stop Trump. Trent Staggs is on that list with Utah's worst and most disgusting Never Trumpers. You may like DeSantis and make the case for him in 2024, but these elected officials don't support DeSantis's policies and do everything to berate and attack anyone in Utah who does. No one can plead ignorance of the timing of the press release. The originators of the press release, Todd Weiler, Mike McKell, and Dan McCay, have consistently done everything they could to oppose DeSantis's policies, and each has gone out of their way to promote candidates who have consistently attacked Trump. Everyone signing this knows exactly who Weiler, McKell, and McCay are and what they represent. The timing of the press release and its originators leave absolutely zero doubt what this was – an attack on President Trump and his supporters. Trent Staggs intentionally and deliberately signed on to it. Anyone telling you this wasn't an effort to intimidate and embarrass Trump and his supporters is either really stupid or they think you are.

Surely, he's a longtime Trump supporter? His position on Trump, aside from joining the establishment effort to intimidate and humiliate Trump, is that he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. That's pretty weak. There's no record of him publicly supporting Trump and his policies before announcing his run for Senate. Staggs and his apologists have yet to find anything on record of him supporting Trump prior to his Senate run. That's a feat even Utah's most hardened Never-Trumpers couldn't pull off. We have Mitt Romney and Spencer Cox claiming to support Trump in their primaries, but there's a blackout of tweets regarding the topic of Trump in Staggs' social media history, almost as if it's been purged. In Staggs' Facebook account, there isn't any record of him endorsing Trump in 2020, only his endorsement of Jon Huntsman for governor. If I'm missing it by all means send it my way. This pattern is all too familiar in Utah – Trent Staggs is following the same pattern as Romney and Cox. We saw it in 2018 with Romney claiming to support Trump and again in 2020 with the worst MAGA haters in the country: John Curtis, Blake Moore, Aimee Winder Newton, Jeff Burningham, and the worst of the worst, Spencer Cox. If you want to follow the same pattern that leaves Utah voting for the worst Never-Trumpers in the country, by all means, get behind Trent Staggs.

People have pointed out to that Mayor Staggs an outspoken conservative on many political and social issues. Is he? I was given the examples of COVID mask mandates and grooming of children in public schools. Well, he seems to be vocal only when a ballot is sent out or when he announces his candidacy to replace Romney. Before the GOP primary for Staggs' failed County Mayor bid, he took a position on masks. However, he wasn't there when Eric Moutsos was being threatened with jail or when Mayor Kate Witt was being censured by her city council for trying to protest COVID tyranny. These would have been ideal times for him to go on record and speak out, but I haven't seen that from Staggs. Just before he announced his run for the Senate, he showed up at a school board meeting. Better late than never, but his timing seems really convenient. During COVID, Utah faced draconian measures and people were threatened with jail for disobedience to mandates. There has been plenty of time for public comment, but Staggs seems to wait until he needs a political boost before taking on strong positions. It's good that he's speaking out, but he didn't do it when it was dangerous. I didn't see him speaking out when others were being threatened with jail. Staggs does take positions on hard topics, but his timing is questionable. When the wind blows in the right direction, I have no doubt Staggs will be there. If that's good enough for you, then Staggs is your guy.

Now that Romney's vulnerable due to his far-left positions and statements that can't be hidden by Utah's regime media, Trent Staggs shows up and makes a play for Utah's MAGA vote, following all the same patterns as the nation's most extreme NeverTrumpers emanating from Utah. Utah needs to do better. We need better than someone who signed on with a bunch of 2016 Never-Trumpers, Romneycrats, and McMuffin pushers to attack us in 2022. Staggs proved he isn't much better than Romney or Cox. Only you can decide your musts in a candidate, what your nice-to-haves are, and what your absolutely-nots are. If your must-have is 'not Romney,' Staggs meets that criteria, but others entering the race haven't attacked us as recently as Staggs has. I'm not giving Staggs a pass just because some MAGA celebrity is ignoring his record. We might not get a MAGA candidate to challenge Romney, but we can do better than someone who has been silent when it mattered most and attacked us when we needed their support. Staggs has shown who he is and what he'll do in the Senate the moment the heat gets turned up. I'm looking for something better than Trent Staggs, and right now, that isn't much. Could I be wrong about Staggs? That would be awesome but recent history informs me otherwise.

So yeah, if it's Romney, Staggs, and a ham sandwich running for the GOP nomination of Utah's senate seat, As of right now I'm rooting for the ham sandwich. With more candidates in the pipeline, I think Utah can do better, and the bar isn't very high.

but hey.... give it a while...

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