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Hatch Says Yes To 2018 Run, For Now

Lee Hale / KUER

Sen. Orrin Hatch says he does plan on running for an eighth term in the U.S. Senate in 2018, following months of speculation.

Hatch made his comments to CNN on Thursday, though his office later said his decision is not yet final. 

Gov. Gary Herbert, a longtime friend of Hatch’s, praised the 82-year-old senator, saying he has served Utah well for more than 40 years.

“I don’t know what the outcome is going to be," said Herbert. "I think we’re all caught a little by surprise by the announcement today. But I appreciate that Orrin Hatch is doing good things. My concern is really these next two years. We need his muscle; we need his seniority; we need his smart acumen politically now.”

The news comes a day after President Trump tapped former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to be the ambassador to Russia. Huntsman was considered a likely challenger to Hatch. 

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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