Another Orrin Hatch Challenger Falls Away

Saturday, 29 Oct 2011 12:47 PM

By Gary Cohen

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Republican Orrin Hatch's run for a seventh term as Utah senator gets another shot in the arm with Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson now dropping away.

hatch challenger senateMatheson announced yesterday afternoon he will not be challenging Hatch.

"After consulting withy my family, I have made the decision that I will not run in next year's Senate election. I am still considering my options and whatever race I choose I will run an aggressive campaign," he said in a statement.

While Hatch was able to hold off a GOP battle from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, he still faces a potential interparty duel at next year's State Republican Party convention from State Sen. Dan Liljenquist of Bountiful, according to the Herald Extra.

Liljenquist is still mulling whether to mount a challenge against Hatch. Liljenquist has been conducting town hall gatherings across the state and he is expected to decide his intentions by year's end.

Meanwhile, Matheson is still considered to be a possible challenger against Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in the 2012 elections.

Matheson could also opt to defend his current House seat or even attempt to land the brand new fourth House seat the state earned in the latest reapportionment., the Salt Lake Tribune points out.

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