Sen. Orrin Hatch's opponent says the 78-year-old Utah Republican is just too old to serve.
In an email to supporters, Democrat Scott Howell warned that if re-elected, Hatch may "retire or die before his term is through."
Howell, who is 58, added that Hatch isn't a bad guy, "but he is an old guy."
Hatch campaign manager Dave Hansen called the comments outrageous and offensive, noting they come from a candidate with no shot at winning in November.
Utah hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1970.
Republicans are trying to gain four seats_and control of the Senate_in the November election. The goal seemed in reach a few months ago but is now uncertain.
© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.