SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson officially threw his hat into the ring for U.S. Senator Mitt Romney’s seat when Romney retires from office at the end of his term.

The move was not particularly surprising after Wilson announced last week that he would be stepping down from his current position on Nov. 15. Wilson has represented Utah’s 15th District since 2011. He announced his run this evening at an event in Draper.

“I’m running for the United States Senate because our nation is at a crossroads and we need a fearless conservative fighter with the backbone to get things done,” said Wilson. “The stakes are too high to settle for another go-along-to-get-along politician that’ll cut and run when the fight gets tough. We need a bold, proven leader with the guts to turn this country around and light the path to a brighter future.”

Wilson stated he is a proven job creator, a trusted leader and a conservative.

Romney announced earlier this month that he would retire from the Senate when his term ends in 2025. He said in a statement that it is time for a new generation of political leaders to step in.  

Utah GOP Chairman Robert Axson confirmed to The that roughly 30 people have expressed interest in Romney’s seat. A dozen of them are “seriously considering right now,” he said. Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs and Roosevelt Mayor Rod Bird Jr. have both declared their candidacy for the seat. U.S. Rep. John Curtis is said to be seriously considering a run, as well, though he has not officially made an announcement.