SALT LAKE CITY — “Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves,” said Senator Orrin Hatch in part of a brief online video announcing his retirement. Senator Hatch will not seek re-election in 2018.
“Only in a nation like ours can someone like me, the scrappy son of a simple carpenter, grow up to be a United States Senator,” said Senator Hatch.
His retirement is being met with praise for his years of service, but mixed reviews as to whether it is time for him to leave office.
“I think it’s about time, I’m not a fan of career politicians,” said Aaron Brown, a Salt Lake City resident.
The Salt Lake Tribune had called on Hatch to retire in an editorial published the same day the newspaper named him Utahn of the Year. But while Utah’s largest newspaper called for an end to his time in office, President Trump went in the opposite direction.
Politicians and dignitaries are commenting on Sen. Orrin Hatch's decision to retire at the end of his current term. Read their statements below: (More to be added as FOX 13 receives them.)
Pres. Donald Trump
"Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career. He has been a tremendous supporter, and I will never forget the (beyond kind) statements he has made about me as President. He is my friend and he will be greatly missed in the U.S. Senate!"
Gov. Gary Herbert
"Few have been as dedicated to serving the people of Utah as our good Senator, Orrin Hatch. For seven terms, he has represented the people of Utah with strength and dignity. We are grateful for his hard work and for his untiring effort on behalf of our state. I wish him the best."
Sen. Mike Lee
“Sen. Hatch has been a tremendous servant to the people of Utah and he will be sorely missed. It has truly been an honor serving with him in the United States Senate and I know he will continue to do fantastic work for Utahns."
Rep. Mia Love
“Senator Orrin Hatch has served with great distinction in the United States Senate. If any public official deserves to leave office with the heartfelt gratitude of both a state and a nation, it is Senator Hatch. Personally, I will miss his leadership, his guidance and the wonderful friendship he has given me. No Senator has accomplished more during his time in office than Senator Hatch, and our state and nation are better for it. I want to wish both he and Elaine the very best in their next great adventure.”
Rep. John Curtis
“Not only is Senator Hatch Utah’s longest serving U.S. Senator and the longest serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, he is also one of the most effective legislators of all time. As a dedicated public servant, Senator Hatch has been a key figure in crafting hundreds of pieces of landmark legislation and in confirming most of our current federal judiciary. He has consistently delivered results for Utah, and I am grateful that we have had such a statesman on the frontlines fighting for us for the past four decades. He has been a great friend and mentor to me as I have started my first term in Congress. Although we still have a lot left to accomplish together this year, I will certainly miss his presence in the Senate after his much-deserved retirement.”
Rep. Chris Stewart
“I want to thank Senator Hatch for his long years of service to the state and I wish him the very best in his retirement. I am going to take some time to discuss the race with my family before making an official decision.”
Speaker John Hughes
".@senorrinhatch has served with dignity and honor. He is a man of integrity. The seat will be filled after the upcoming election but he will never be replaced. Thank you for your service, your grit, your effectiveness and for your friendship. I have learned so much."
SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski
“I would like to thank Senator Orrin Hatch, and his entire family, for a lifetime of public service on behalf of the people of Utah. Throughout my career, whether we agreed or not, Sen. Hatch has always been someone I could call when Salt Lake City needed help from Washington. I wish him and his family well as they embark on a new stage of life.”
"I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation. As Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees and as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor. Ann and I wish Senator Orrin Hatch and his loving wife Elaine all the best in their future endeavors."
“In the history of the State of Utah no other individual legislator has had greater impact. As the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history and as the Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees, Senator Orrin Hatch spent the entirety of his career dedicated to the citizens of Utah, as well as the state’s business community.
“Senator Hatch has shown that he is not only a great politician, but also a great statesman. While I think many Utahns regard him as a personal friend, to the business community he has also been a trusted and honorable leader. Myself, and the Salt Lake Chamber, thank Senator Orrin Hatch for his 42 years of service to the citizens of this great state.”
"Thank you for your service to our state and country, Senator Hatch. In this seat, we must have a leader prepared to meet the challenges of our day and our future. I hope that leader will be @MittRomney."
“I know this has been a difficult decision for Senator Hatch,” said Wilson. “I believe this is the right decision for Utah and look forward to a vigorous campaign ahead as candidates enter the race.”
“While I have disagreed with his approach, especially recently, I appreciate the years of service Sen. Hatch has given to Utah”
“For Washington to work again, we need a new generation of leaders. Leaders who have worked in and understand our communities. That’s what I represent,” said Wilson.
“I’m eager for this debate over contrasting visions for Utah and our country. It’s time the red carpet is rolled out for every day Utahns, not just corporations and special interests,” Wilson said. “This U.S. Senate seat belongs to the people of Utah.”