Sen. Orrin Hatch said on Thursday that he plans to run for re-election next year, despite his previous statement last year that he would not seek to continue serving. The Utah Republican is the GOP’s longest-serving senator and, at nearly 83 years old, he was long expected to retire following this term. However, he said, President Trump personally encouraged him to seek re-election. “His pitch is he needs me,” Hatch relayed to CNN. “Things are going to be just fine.” Hatch’s decision comes one day after fellow Utah Republican Jon Huntsman was named as Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Russia, effectively removing the former governor from possibly running in a Republican Senate primary race.
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