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Sen. Hatch to retire at the end of this term

WASHINGTON D.C. – After four decades in the Senate, Orrin Hatch has decided to retire at the end of this term.  He says he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life, and spending more time with his family.

Hatch posted the video on YouTube around noon.  In it, he spoke about how President Donald Trump called Hatch “a fighter” during his last visit.  Hatch says he brought a fighting spirit to the Senate.  He says, “I’ve always sought to fight for those who could not fight for themselves.  I believe the results speak for themselves,” adding, “Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves.  For me, that time is soon approaching.  That’s why, after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term.”

He listed accomplishments that he’s proud of, like helping to pass recent tax reform and helping to confirm every single justice that’s on the Supreme Court today.  He says, “One of my proudest legislative achievements is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which guarantees vigorous religious liberty to all Americans.”

Hatch says he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life and to spend more time with his family.  He adds, “I may be leaving the Senate, but, the next chapter of my public service is just beginning.”

Other prominent politicians in Utah have expressed support for Hatch.  Governor Gary Herbert tweeted, “Few have been as dedicated to serving the people of Utah as our good Senator, Orrin Hatch. For seven terms, he has represented the people of Utah with strength and dignity. We are grateful for his hard work and for his untiring effort on behalf of our state. I wish him the best.”

Mitt Romney posted, “I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation. As Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees and as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor. Ann and I wish Senator Orrin Hatch and his loving wife Elaine all the best in their future endeavors.”

One woman who wanted to run against Hatch also thanked him for his service.  Jenny Wilson posted, “I know this has been a difficult decision for Senator Hatch.  I believe this is the right decision for Utah and look forward to a vigorous campaign ahead as candidates enter the race.  While I have disagreed with his approach, especially recently, I appreciate the years of service Sen. Hatch has given to Utah”

However, the Utah Democratic Party was less cordial.  Party Chair, Daisy Thomas, issued this statement.  “We thank Senator Orrin Hatch for his years of service. For some time, Hatch was a senator of compromise, willing to make hard decisions. While he has strayed from that path over the past few years, we believe that service should be recognized.

We thank him for his role in uniting Utahns against the Trump administration. Whether it was his inaction on CHIP, his support of the destruction of our national monuments, or his troubling defense of Roy Moore, we thank him. Now more than ever, we know where he stands and the Utah Republican Party stands, and it is not with Utah.

We look forward to the 2018 elections. The Trump administration and outside agencies have a keen interest in this election. We believe that this Senate seat belongs to the people of Utah — not to Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, or their wealthy friends.

We look forward to seeing Governor Romney of Massachusetts on the campaign trail.

Let the Blue Tide rise.”

(Photo Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News, File)