Hatch Foe: Vote for Me, Because He Might Die Democratic challenger makes age an issue in Utah Senate race By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Sep 18, 2012 2:02 PM CDT 15 comments Comments Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last month. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (Newser) – We will go out on a limb and suggest there might have been a little more tactful way to do this. The Democrat trying to unseat Orrin Hatch in Utah put out a fundraising letter saying people should vote for him because Hatch "is an old guy" who might "die before his term is through," reports KTVX. Hatch is 78, and challenger Scott Howell is 58. “Orrin Hatch needs the golden handshake now," an unapologetic Howell told the TV station in a follow-up interview. "It's time we give him a nice watch and we send him on his way." The Hatch camp called the dig offensive and said it smacked of desperation. They might be right on the latter: The nonpartisan Cook Political Report says the Republican incumbent is a virtual lock for re-election, reports CNN.