ST. GEORGE – While speculation abounds as to whether Mitt Romney will run for U.S. Senate now that long-serving Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch actually plans to retire, this week a local attorney announced his plans to seek the GOP’s nomination for Hatch’s seat.
Larry Meyers, who has long been involved in the Republican Party on the county and state level, made the official announcement in a statement Thursday.
“It’s time for a fresh face in the Senate,” Meyers said. “We need someone with traditional values who represents all of Utah’s voters, not just the rich and powerful. I will be a strong voice supporting President (Donald) Trump’s agenda and fighting for Utah in the Senate.”
Meyers spoke to St. George News Friday while traveling to Salt Lake City and said he believes Utah needs a “real outsider” in the Senate and not an establishment candidate. He is that candidate, he said.
While the announcement to seek the nomination comes in the wake of Hatch’s finally deciding to retire, Meyers said his decision to run was made long beforehand, regardless of whether Hatch chose to run again or not.
“I decided to run whether it would be against Hatch or Romney,” Meyers said.
Speculation has run rampant over the possibility that Romney will step into the upcoming Senate race now that Hatch is stepping down. Hatch, who served in the Senate for over 40 years, told Fox 13 News last year that he wouldn’t mind seeing someone like Romney replace him.
Romney has yet to make any public statement on the matter.
As for Meyers, he will be seeking the Utah GOP nomination through the caucus-convention system and court the favor of party delegates across the state. He has no intention to seek signatures as a way to get on the party’s primary ballot, which is allowed under a contested 2014 election law known as the Count My Vote compromise.
“I won’t be gathering signatures,” Meyers said. “I think candidates should go through the caucus-convention system and be vetted by the delegates.”
Like other Republicans in the state, Meyers opposes the compromise law.
Meyers said his top priorities are national defense, securing our borders, cleaning up scandal-plagued federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the FBI, cutting spending, balancing the budget, defunding Planned Parenthood, eliminating Common Core, protecting constitutional rights and moving management of public lands in Utah to more local control.
In addition to the BLM and FBI, Meyers also mentioned reviewing the U.S. Attorney’s Office as he was disappointed in how these agencies treated Nevada’s Cliven Bundy and his family during the 2014 standoff and resulting mistrial.
“We want to make sure the people we have in (those agencies) don’t abuse their power,” Meyers said.
On facets of Trump’s presidential agenda, Meyers said he supports the president’s “America first” policies, as well as cutting the national budget and reducing taxes.
Meyers has been politically active since his college days and is known for organizing the Dixie Republican Forum and other local politically conservative groups. He has also been the president of the Utah Republican Assembly and has served on the board of directors of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.
Within the county and state GOP, he has served as precinct officer, county and state delegate, been the chairman and vice chairman of the county party and a state Central Committee member. He was also a national delegate to the Republican national conventions in 2008 and 2016.
“I’m just a person who cares about our country and wants to preserve liberty and save the republic,” Meyers said.
For the last 14 years, Meyers has practiced law out of his firm, Liberty Law. Prior to opening the firm, he served as a prosecutor for Washington County and the city of St. George for seven years. He received his law degree from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1995.
Those interested in learning more about Meyers and his take on the issues can visit his campaign site at MeyersforSenate.com.
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