Senator Orrin Hatch – the longest-serving Senate Republican – has announced he plans to retire at the end of 2018.
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) January 3, 2018
Despite pleas from President Trump urging him to seek an eighth term, the 83-year-old released a video message on Tuesday informing the public of his decision:
“When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter,” Orrin revealed. “I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I’ve brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington. But every good fighter knows when to hand up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching.”
By vacating his seat, Hatch paves the way for Mitt Romney to possibly run. Eager-eyed Twitter viewers noted Romney suddenly updated his Twitter profile, changing his location from Massachusetts to Holladay, Utah by Tuesday evening.
Romney, a member of the Mormon church, is popular in Utah. The Massachusetts Governor did not comment on rumors he plans to run for Hatch’s seat. He did, however, post to Facebook commending Hatch’s political career, writing, “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.”
Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career. He has been a tremendous supporter, and I will never forget the (beyond kind) statements he has made about me as President. He is my friend and he will be greatly missed in the U.S. Senate! pic.twitter.com/0VjzLEeHTl
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
President Trump took to Twitter to thank the long-term career politician, writing, “Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career. He has been a tremendous supporter, and I will never forget the (beyond kind) statements he has made about me as President. He is my friend and he will be greatly missed in the U.S. Senate!”