Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, continues to insist he will run for reelection at the age of 84 next year, saying in a new interview he is planning to go for an eighth term — unless something changes his mind.
Hatch was asked about his political future during an interview with Salt Lake City station KUTV.
"That's a question that comes up all the time: I fully intend to run again, but I'm going to take time and think it over and make up my mind on that, but right now, yes, I'm going to run again," said Hatch, who has signaled several times in the past few months he is planning to launch another run at representing the people of Utah.
When asked what made up his mind to seek another term in Washington, Hatch pointed to President Donald Trump.
"I'm right in the middle of everything there; [Trump] is all over me to run again," he said. "My leadership in the Republican Senate are all over me to run again. The House leadership, some of those [lawmakers] want me to run again.
"I know I'm in a position where I can help, where I can help Donald Trump like nobody else can."
Hatch addressed the subject of Mitt Romney and whether the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate would take Hatch's place on the 2018 midterms ballot.
"Mitt has made it clear, he's not running if I run," Hatch said. "He's a strong supporter and so is his son Josh, who I hope will run for governor of Utah in the future. I did chat with him just to kind of feel out the situation to see if it was possible to have somebody of his dimension, if I decide I can't run, to get him to do it."
Hatch noted if he or his wife were to get sick, that could force him not to run for another term in the Senate chamber.
"I have to be prepared to make sure that we have somebody to replace me if that's the case," said Hatch, adding he will not make a final announcement until at least the end of 2017.
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