If Romney Replaces Hatch, Senate Math Is All New

Utah Senator is retiring, paving way for Trump-critic Romney to run
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2018 1:19 PM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2018 3:27 PM CST

(Newser) – Utah's Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, says he won't be running for re-election in 2018. The 83-year-old announced the move on Twitter. “Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves," he says in a video. "And 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." The move paves the way for Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of President Trump, to run for his seat. Details and developments:

  • Unpopular at home: Hatch has been in the Senate for four decades and currently chairs the powerful Finance Committee, a post that allowed him to play a big role in the GOP's recent tax overhaul. But his clout doesn't seem to matter in Utah, where polls show that about 75% of residents wanted him to retire, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. (The newspaper itself issued a scathing editorial calling for him to do just that.)
  • Trump unhappy: The president is "very sad" upon hearing the news, says spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The New York Times reports that the president, pleased with Hatch's work on the tax plan, had been encouraging him to run again. If nothing else, that would keep Romney—who has been vocal in his criticism of Trump—out of the Senate. (Still, Trump reportedly considered Romney for secretary of state.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.