Entries in Sen. Orrin Hatch (2)


Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to Face Primary Challenge

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Utah’s senior Senator Orrin Hatch won’t be sailing to a seventh and final term without first facing a primary challenge after the state’s Republicans on Saturday denied him the nomination by the narrowest of margins.

Hatch, 78, will now face off against former Utah State Sen. Dan Liljenquist, 37, in a primary battle on June 26.

At Utah’s state Republican convention Saturday a slate of 10 GOP candidates in the senate race faced off. To avoid a primary battle and coast straight to his party’s nomination, Hatch would have had to receive 60 percent of the vote from the 4,000 delegates selected to attend the convention.

Candidates went through two rounds of voting. Hatch received 57 percent of the vote in the first round, while Liljenquist got 28 percent. The candidates who placed in the bottom eight were eliminated, and Hatch and Liljenquist competed head to head in a second round. Hatch received 59 percent of the vote in this round–just shy of that magic 60 percent. Liljenquist received 41 percent, seemingly picking up support from backers of Hatch’s other opponents.

Hatch, who has served in the Senate for 34 years, had been preparing for this battle for the past two years, after his colleague Bob Bennett, a fellow veteran of Congress, was eliminated from his Senate battle at the state’s Republican convention in 2010.

Hatch, who is the 24th longest-serving senator in US history, has spent $5 million in his primary battle, and he still has $3 million in his war chest.

Hatch’s strong fundraising thus far, along with his strong performance at the convention, bode well for the senator, who has had a history of reaching across the aisle. Hatch may also benefit from a larger electorate participating in the June 26 Republican primary. Fellow Mormon Mitt Romney is running in the GOP primary in this most Mormon of states and turnout is expected to be large.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Hatch: Dems' Policies 'Killing Us'; Budget Impasse 'Matter of Principle'

ABC News (WASHINGTON) -- The budget showdown, of course, is about government spending. But ask a member of Congress, and it’s also about principles.

Asked how Congress could be on the verge of shutting down the government over a disagreement of just a few billion dollars, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Friday it’s the Democrats who won’t move off their bargaining position -- and that Republicans are right to stand on principle.

“There's no greater principle than getting this country under spending control. There's no greater principle at this time,” Hatch told ABC News. “I mean, come on. Who's to blame here? Republicans? We didn't control both houses like they did. No, they spent all their time on a lousy health care bill that's going to cost $2.6 trillion and add a huge amount to our total deficit.”

“This is a matter of principle. We just gotta start standing up. And $40 billion? They can't find $40 billion out of $3.8 trillion budget? It just makes ya mad!”

House Speaker John Boehner has already given more than enough ground, Hatch said.

“Boehner's come down from $63 billion to $40 billion. He's got a lot of people who are really upset at how far -- how far we've come down and tried to settle this matter. And now they're going to stop it for $2 billion? Give me a break.”

Hatch continued, “This place is just going to go haywire. And it is haywire because the Democrats have been in charge....I've seen this country go right down the drain because the Democrats' spending policies. And I've got to tell you, they're killing us."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio