Senator Orrin Hatch has served the state of Utah since 1976, making him the longest-serving Republican senator in history at this time. At the end of his 2018 term, he will have served for 42 years. Senator Hatch has many legislative accomplishments under his belt and has taken part in numerous historic actions. He served for many years on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for conducting hearings for Supreme Court nominees, the Finance Committee, and as Senate President Pro Tempore.
On January 2, 2018, Senator Hatch announced his retirement at the end of his term this year. According to a video statement, he released, “When the President visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington. But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves, 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. Although I will miss serving you in the Senate, I look forward to spending more time with family, especially my sweet wife Elaine, whose unwavering love and support made all of this possible.”
With the news of the retirement of Senator Hatch, Short Creek voters, depending on what side of the border they live on, will be making a choice for Senator Hatch’s seat in Utah, and Senator Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona. Senator Flake only served a single term before announcing his intent to retire at the end of his term this year.
Most commentators are expecting Mitt Romney to run for Hatch’s seat this November. But other names have been floated for the seat, including Congressman Chris Stewart of Utah’s second district. Hildale is in the second district. In the following months, others will likely throw their hats in the ring.