Utah Republican Mulls Challenge to Hatch

Boyd Matheson (R), a former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), is strongly considering a 2018 challenge to veteran GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – the latest in a string of potential primaries against sitting Republican senators, Politico reports.

“Matheson, a prominent conservative who currently runs the Salt Lake City-based Sutherland Institute think tank, would be a formidable contender should he decide to run. Matheson traveled to Washington last week, where he met with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Citizens United President David Bossie. Both have emerged as leaders of an intensifying conservative campaign to oust Republican incumbents and replace them with bomb-throwing outsiders – an effort that is aimed at undermining Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Hatch Says Wife Doesn’t Want Him to Run Again

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told KUTV that he intends to run for re-election in 2018 but said his wife’s trepidation is giving him pause.

“The 83-year-old Hatch said he suspects he’ll need to decide before the end of the year, but said he’s not putting any hard timeline on it.”

Said Hatch: “Right now, I intend to run. But you know, Elaine is not real enthusiastic about it, which causes me to pause a little bit. But, I’m chairman of the finance committee, the most powerful committee in the whole Congress and we’re doing work that has never been done before and that needs to be done.”

Hatch Will Run Again for Re-Election

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told CNN he “is planning to run for re-election next year, abandoning his plans to quit the chamber after four decades of service.”

“The Utah Republican — who promised in 2012 that his current term would be his last — said he has changed his mind at this time, partially because he’s been getting encouragement from President Donald Trump and top Republicans to run again.”

Former Romney Aides Split Over Mike Lee

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) “has hired consulting firm America Rising, led by Mitt Romney’s former campaign manager Matt Rhoades, to offer advice and research on potential 2016 opponents. That might result in a Romney confidant investigating the background of another Romney confidant,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Alex Dunn, who worked on Romney’s campaigns and on his gubernatorial staff in Massachusetts, is considering a run against Lee, spurred on by Spencer Zwick, Romney’s former finance director, and Josh Romney, one of Mitt Romney’s five sons.”

Romney Son Interested in Elected Office

Josh Romney, son of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, told the Deseret News that he won’t challenge Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in next year’s U.S. Senate race but said he’d like to see another Republican run against the first-term senator.

He also confirmed he’s interested in running for office someday.

Said Romney: “Politics is in my blood, unfortunately. It’s something I’ve seen and I’ve loved. I’m not sure what I’d do, or what capacity I’d run in, but I’m definitely looking to it.”