Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hatch Forced In To Primary Race

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), like Sen. Richard Lugar, is facing a tough re-election challenge from within his own party. Hatch had hoped to avoid a primary race against a former state senator, Dan Liljenquist. Hatch needed to win at least 60% of the votes of the state party's convention delegates yesterday in order to avoid a primary race. He fell short by fewer than 50 votes from receiving the necessary 60% of the vote in the second round of voting against Liljenquist after receiving 57% of the in the first round of voting.

Hatch told delegates before the final vote that experience can make all the difference in getting conservative priorities passed. "It will be my last six years in the U.S. Senate, but they'll be the best six years and the most critical six years of all," he said.
Liljenquis took issue with Hatch's assertion that his seniority was such a critical asset. He noted that Hatch had used a similar argument in previous elections and that the GOP would still be in good hands without Hatch's influence because Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho was next in line for serve as the next Finance Committee chairman if the Senate changes hands.
Two years ago, Utah's former Republican Sen. Bob Bennett was ousted at the state party convention.

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