Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch won't seek re-election, opening path for Mitt Romney

Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch won't seek re-election, opening path for Mitt Romney

Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate, announced Tuesday he intends to retire at the end of his term. After cycling through his accomplishments and the praise he has received from President Trump, Hatch called himself a "fighter", but also acknowledged "every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves". And for me, that time is soon approaching.

In a statement, Hatch said he chose to retire at the end of his seventh term after "much prayer and discussion with family and friends" over the holiday break.

No matter who will replace Hatch, his decision to retire has broader implications, given his chairmanship of the important Finance committee and his seniority on other committees.

"Only in a nation like ours could someone like me, the scrappy son of a simple carpenter, grow up to be a U.S. Senator", he said.

His retirement from the Senate raises the possibility that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, will run to fill his seat in November's midterm elections. Last month Hatch lashed out at former White House adviser Steve Bannon for his attack on Romney and the Mormon Church.

"Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor", Romney wrote.

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Hatch is the second-longest serving current USA senator, serving for more than 40 years.

Mr Romney didn't get the job - numerous Trump supporters spoke out against him - but now the Republican elder statesman has another chance at power. Last month, Trump flew with Hatch on Air Force One to Utah for a day of events that was aimed entirely at lobbying the senator to run again.

She added,"Governor Romney may want to be in public service in many different roles, and I just wanted to make sure that you know the truth coming from the White House".

Sanders would not say if Trump would back Romney.

Romney pilloried Trump in a March 2016 speech, calling him a "phony" and "a fraud". Romney received a draft deferment for missionary work in France during Vietnam. During his time on the committee, the Senate has confirmed almost 1,900 federal judges, a majority of all federal judges that have served.

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