Hatch Wins Republican Primary in Utah
Senator Orrin Hatch was able to easily defeat another Republican candidate backed by tea party activists. It was the first time since Hatch was elected in 1976 to the Senate that he has seen a primary challenge.
Hatch who is 78, was bracing for a difficult challenge for his reelection, but was able to breeze to a victory. Dan Lijenquist, a former Utah state senator, who survived a plane crash in 2008 in Guatemala that killed all but three of the 14 people on board, won enough support to cause the primary election yesterday. However, Lijenquist faced organizational and financial disadvantages during the primary. Hatch learned from watching his colleague in the Senate, Robert Bennett, lose two years ago. Hatch spent over $10 million in ads on the airwaves and built a campaign that no one in the state had ever before seen.
The Republican candidate for the Senate and almost assuredly the winner in the upcoming election since the state is such a Republican state, told reporters after his primary win on Tuesday that he was ready to take on the debt problems in the country and focus his efforts on Medicare and Social Security.
Hatch, in his quest for his seventh term, had an answer for all the criticism he heard. Some said his 36 years in the Senate was enough, his response was that he would not run for another term unless it was for the opportunity to serve on the Senate Finance Committee as the chairman, if the GOP were to win the majority in the Senate.
When people complained he was not conservative enough, he moved further to the right, scoring a rating of 100% in 2010 and 2011 from the American Conservative Union. Lijenquist is a newcomer on the political scene in Utah, but seized on the concerns of voters about the increasing national debt. He also tried to connect Hatch to the debt and being a contributor to it.