Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is reportedly going to retire from the Senate at the end of his next term, an article in The Atlantic claims. Hatch apparently has been privately telling his friends that he will not run for reelection, and that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be slated to replace him.
Senator Orrin Hatch has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year, and if he does, Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat, according to five sources familiar with the situation.
While The Atlantic says that these plans aren't finalized, these rumors--of both Hatch's retirement and Romney's run--have been swirling for months. Hatch's spokesperson denied that the 83-year-old Senator had made any concrete decision.
“Nothing has changed since The Atlantic published a carbon copy of this same story in April, likely with the same anonymous sources who were no more informed on the Senator's thinking than they seem to be now,” said Dave Hansen, a spokesperson for Hatch.
Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, and polls show that his constituents increasingly want him to retire. Utah is about as safe a red state as their is, so there's not exactly a high chance of a Democrat defeating whoever runs in Hatch's place if he were to retire.
So, I guess we'll have to stay tuned on this one--a whole lot of things can change in a little over a year's time.