Former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard could be vying for Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) seat in 2024.
Writer James Kimmey posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Thursday claiming that multiple sources confirmed to him that he is “looking to fill the seat.” Additionally, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is supporting Ballard, according to Kimmey.
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Ballard was confirmed to have left the anti-child trafficking organization he founded, Operation Underground Railroad, in July. However, according to LinkedIn, Matt Osborne has served as its president since February.
On Wednesday, Ballard made an appearance on Capitol Hill to testify to the House Homeland Security Committee, where he took on President Joe Biden’s border policy. He blamed the Biden administration’s 2021 decision to stop taking fingerprints and conducting in-depth background checks of adults who step forward to care for children as a grave mistake that led to children being lost after release.
Prior to that, the former DHS agent was at a conference held by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on Tuesday that introduced legislation to require the Biden administration to locate 85,000 missing children in the United States.
Ballard rose to national fame when a film based on his life, Sound of Freedom, was released on July 4. Since then, it has made nearly $125 million at the box office, according to the small Utah-based Angel Studios. Most notably, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and former President Donald Trump have hosted respective showings of the film, where Ballard was also present. Following the screening, Trump added a proposed death penalty for human traffickers as part of his own 2024 presidential campaign.
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Within Utah, Ballard is known for traveling to the state’s various college campuses, events, and church congregations to share his story and discuss his organization, long before the movie was released.
Currently, Utah’s Republican Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs is the only other candidate running for Romney’s seat. When Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was up for reelection in 2022, the Democratic Party in Utah did not put forth its own candidate, instead endorsing independent candidate and failed presidential candidate Evan McMullin.