Utah Senator Orrin Hatch Won't Seek Re-election In 2018
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch Won't Seek Re-election In 2018
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. unknown
03 January, 2018, 02:07
Orrin Hatch of Utah said Tuesday he will not seek re-election after serving more than 40 years in the Senate, opening the door for 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to run for his seat. Romney has also been an Ardent critic of President Trump, with the pair exchanging frequent attacks on social media. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington.
Hatch said, "I may be leaving the Senate, but the next chapter in my public service is just beginning".
Hatch's announcement rejuvenated already lively talk of a possible Romney return to the political arena.
"After much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've made a decision to retire at the end of this term", Hatch, 83, said in a video posted on Twitter.
Of course, a Utah residency is needed to run for office in the state. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, even deemed it as such last month in what was seen as a subtle effort to usher his colleague to the exits.
A source who has always been close to Romney believes the former MA governor and GOP presidential nominee will run for Senate later this year. Trump had encouraged Hatch to run for re-election.
Hatch also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was at the center of numerous biggest confirmation battles. Separately, NBC News reported that Romney wants to seek the Senate seat, citing a person familiar with his thinking. His senior campaign team will include Matt Waldrip, who had been running Mr. Romney's annual policy retreats, a longtime fund-raiser, Spencer Zwick, and his former chief of staff, Beth Myers.
As for fidelity to Trump, Zwick was more restrained.
"When there are things he agrees with him on, he'll be a big supporter, and when there are things he disagrees with, he'll voice that", he said.
"Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor", Romney wrote.
"Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career", Trump tweeted Tuesday evening.
As the two senators talked over each other, Hatch said he was exhausted of Democrats' "bull crap". "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University", Romney said in a March 2016 speech.
In 2000, Hatch dabbled in presidential politics himself.
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