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Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch to retire; Romney could run

03 January 2018

In December, The Salt Lake Tribune published a scathing editorial calling on Hatch to step down - as the paper named him as "The Tribune's Utahn of the Year", noting that he has never wielded more clout. "But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves, and for me, that time is soon approaching". In his video address Hatch said he's "authored more bills that have become law than any member of Congress alive today".

"That's why, after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I've made a decision to retire at the end of this term", Hatch said.

Hatch's decision triggers an open contest in a state that leans heavily to the right.

"I didn't see Governor Romney file papers to run for Orrin Hatch's seat".

Romney's statement did not mention his own plans.

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Orrin Hatch, the second-longest serving current US senator, plans to retire at the end of his current term. Romney has told associates he would likely run if Hatch retires.

Romney wasn't tipping his hand on social media on Tuesday, preferring to praise Hatch for his long service. A return to the political arena by Romney would present their hard relationship with a new test.

"I like Mitt", Hatch said at the time. "It didn't seem like it to me", adding a chuckle at the end. I've always been a fighter.

In 2000, Hatch sought the Republican nomination for president, saying he had more experience in Washington than his opponents and insisting he could work with Democrats.

Hatch was first elected to the Senate in 1976. He also is president pro tempore of the Senate, which is in the presidential line of succession. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and then Grassley are next in line of seniority to claim that largely honorific role.

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Romney, former Republican governor of MA, has deep roots-and an address -in Utah, where members of the Mormon Church have an abiding influence over the state's politics and elections. Bob Bennett at the 2010 state GOP convention.

Stephen Bannon needs a new project, and Sen. They can also collect 28,000 signatures from voters to run in the Republican primary. Would it translate into action, not just rhetoric similar other apostate Senate Republicans? "There is no question he can buy his way onto the ballot".

It is widely thought that his retirement could clear the path for former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, though it is unclear whether Romney will jump back into the political arena. The President also considered naming Romney as secretary of state before settling on Rex Tillerson.

"It would be hard to defeat Mitt Romney if he were running here", said David Hansen, a longtime Utah Republican strategist and chairman of Hatchs political organization.

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

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Author information: Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch to retire; Romney could run