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Long-time Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch not seeking eighth term

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Sen. Orrin Hatch on Tuesday announced he won’t seek re-election to an eighth term this year, saying he wishes to spend more time with his family.

Hatch, current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced his retirement weeks after helping usher through a sweeping tax overhaul bill, which President Donald Trump signed before Christmas.

“When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington,” Hatch said. “But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching.”

Hatch, 83, said he wishes to spend more time with his family after more than four decades in the Senate. He made the announcement in a video he posted to Twitter.

Hatch’s retirement could open a path for former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to make a bid for the Senate seat.

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Long-time Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch not seeking eighth term