Senator Orrin Hatch, Evan McMullin respond to possibility of running in 2018

Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 08:48:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is feeling pressure to run for an eighth term in office,according to an interview with Roll Call published Wednesday, and independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin may also be considering a run for federal office in 2018.

Senator Hatch of Utah is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, and despite saying in the past he plans to retire at the end of this term, a new interview suggests Hatch is open to running for re-election in 2018.

“I’ve got a lot of people asking me to,”Hatch told Roll Call. “A lot of my colleagues are asking me to, a lot of people in Utah are asking me to. You know that I had said that … this would be my last term, but circumstances have greatly changed, so I’ll have to look at it.”

Hatch’s office sent an email to Fox 13 News acknowledging the interview, but they stated, “We don’t have anything new to report on Senator Hatch’s decision of whether or not to run again.”

In the interview with Roll Call, Hatch cites his committee positions, Chairman of the Finance Committee and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as part of the reason people are encouraging him to consider another run.

Both committees could play major roles in several priorities outlined by President-elect Donald Trump, ranging from Supreme Court nominations to efforts to modify or even repeal the Affordable Care Act.

As President pro tempore of the Senate, Hatch is also the third person after the president in the line of succession behind the Vice President and Speaker of the House.

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin. (Image by Doug Eldredge, FOX 13 News)

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin. (Image by Doug Eldredge, FOX 13 News)

Evan McMullin also spoke to Fox 13 News Wednesday about reports he may run for Senate or another federal office in 2018.

“Certainly it’s possible I would,” McMullin said, adding that he would make his decision based on the future of Utah and the country.

McMullin confirmed he met with Senator Hatch Tuesday, saying he just happened to be in the same building as the senator during a visit to Washington D.C. He said the two discussed a myriad of topics that included the national debt, national security issues and government regulation.