Washington • Forty-one years to the day that he took office, Sen. Orrin Hatch walks into the Senate on Wednesday as a lame duck after announcing that he will retire in early 2019.
Hatch’s decision came despite the urging of Senate colleagues and President Donald Trump, who had pushed the Utah Republican to run for an eighth term, and despite a $4.7 million balance in his campaign account and a fundraiser scheduled this weekend.
Hatch said the time had come.
The move ends months of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation, and leaves an open seat that could be filled by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves,” the Republican senator said in a video released Tuesday by his office. “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.”
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