WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah says he will not seek re-election after serving more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate.
“When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter,” the 83-year-old said in a video message announcing his retirement. “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 hang up the gloves.”
He added: “For me, that time is soon approaching.”
Hatch said he will retire at the end of his current term.
Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. He chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee and was a major force in getting a tax overhaul through in December. His retirement opens the door for Republican Mitt Romney to run for his seat.
Hatch says he decided to retire at the end of his seventh term after “much prayer and discussion with family and friends” over the holiday break.
He says “I may be leaving the Senate, but the next chapter in my public service is just beginning.”
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 2, 2018
Denver Post staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.