Senator Orrin Hatch Announces Retirement

Orrin Hatch to retire, opening way for Mitt Romney

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the longest-serving Republican senator, announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in November. The move sets the stage for a likely run for his seat by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching," the 83-year-old senator, who was first elected in 1976, said in a video announcement. "That’s why after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term.”

The news caps months of speculation about Hatch’s political future. President Donald Trump tried aggressively to persuade the Hatch to seek another term, orchestrating a visit to Utah in which the president lavished praise on the senator and rode with him on Air Force One.