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Longest-serving Republican Senator Orrin Hatch To Retire

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Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election seeking a record eighth term.

83-year-old Hatch, who is seen as a Trump loyalist, is rebuffing the President's personal plea to run again for another six-year term.

Hatch's decision marks another setback for Trump, as it paves the way for a political comeback of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, reports say. A vocal critic of Trump, Romney is seen as a potential GOP candidate in Utah. He stands a good chance to win the seat in his home state, which is heavily populated by his fellow Mormons.

Romney thanked Hatch for his more than forty years of service to Utah and the United States. "As Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees and as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor," he sad in a statement.

Ever since the people of Utah elected him to the US Senate in 1976, Hatch authored more bills that have become law than any other member of Congress.

He wrote the Hatch-Waxman Act, which helped create the modern generic drug industry. He worked tirelessly to pass the Disabilities Act and created the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. He also worked to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that guarantees religious protections for all Americans. And last month, he led Senate passage of a historic overhaul of the nation's tax code.

Hatch made it clear that his decision to retire at the end of this year does not mean his political career is over.

by RTT Staff Writer

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