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Utah leaders react to Sen. Orrin Hatch's retirement

FILE - Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, signs a bill in his office in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. The bill provides a waiver allowing James Mattis to serve as secretary of defense despite not being out of the
FILE - Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, signs a bill in his office in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. The bill provides a waiver allowing James Mattis to serve as secretary of defense despite not being out of the military for the seven years required for that job. It is expected to be the first bill signed by President Donald Trump after his inauguration.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

“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.”

— Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah

“Thank you, Sen. Hatch, for your many years of sacrifice and service. Thanks to your family as well. Utah and the nation will miss you!”

— Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah

“I had just started teaching at Box Elder High School when Orrin Hatch won his first election to the U.S. Senate. He has since gone on to be Utah’s longest-serving senator and most successful politician. His influence can be felt by all Americans.

"I know his wife, Elaine, and his family will look forward to spending more time with Orrin. I wish him the best as he moves into the next chapter of his life.”

— Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah

“Sen. 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 Sen. 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 Sen. 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. Mia Love, R-Utah

“Not only is Sen. 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, Sen. 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. John Curtis, R-Utah

“Few have been as dedicated to serving the people of Utah as our good Sen. 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.”

— Gov. Gary Herbert

“I offer my sincere gratitude to Sen. Hatch for his decades of service fighting for Utah. We may never again see someone in the Senate who has such an outsized influence and yet been so accessible to Utahns. Thank you, Orrin, for your service.”

— Attorney General Sean Reyes

“I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch, for his more than 40 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, Sen. Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor. Ann and I wish Sen. Orrin Hatch and his loving wife, Elaine, all the best in their future endeavors.”

— Mitt Romney, 2012 GOP presidential nominee

“I know this has been a difficult decision for Sen. Hatch. I believe this is the right decision for Utah, and (I) 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.

— Jenny Wilson, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

“I would like to thank Sen. 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.”

— Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City mayor****

“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, Sen. Orrin Hatch spent the entirety of his career dedicated to the citizens of Utah, as well as the state’s business community.

“Sen. 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 Sen. Orrin Hatch for his 42 years of service to the citizens of this great state.”

— Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber president and CEO****

“Thank you for your service to our state and country, Sen. 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 Mitt Romney.”

— Evan McMullin, former independent presidential candidate

“We thank Sen. Orrin Hatch for his years of service. For some time, Hatch was a senator of compromise, willing to make hard decisions. While he has strayed from that path over the past few years, we believe that service should be recognized.

"We thank him for his role in uniting Utahns against the Trump administration. Whether it was his inaction on CHIP, his support of the destruction of our national monuments, or his troubling defense of Roy Moore, we thank him.

"Now more than ever we know where he stands and the Utah Republican Party stands, and it is not with Utah. We look forward to the 2018 elections. The Trump administration and outside agencies have a keen interest in this election. We believe that this Senate seat belongs to the people of Utah — not to Steve Bannon, Donald Trump or their wealthy friends. We look forward to seeing Gov. Romney of Massachusetts on the campaign trail. Let the Blue Tide rise.”

— Daisy Thomas, Utah Democratic Party chairwoman****

“It is altogether fitting and proper that Sen. Hatch announces his retirement from the United States Senate at the end of a year where the three pillars of his service — the judiciary committee, finance committee and public lands — all achieved significant victories. The confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the realization of generational tax reform becoming law, and the reduction of two Utah national monuments represent a great capstone to his career.”

— Boyd Matheson, Sutherland Institute president

U.S. Senate, House of Representatives respond to Hatch's retirement

“I will miss my good friend, but I know well that our loss will be a happy gain for Orrin’s beloved wife, Elaine, their six children, and all their grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

— Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate majority leader

“It has been an honor to work with you on (the) Finance Committee, Chairman Hatch. Thank you for your service to Utah and our nation!”

— Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

“Passing of an era. Great man.”

— Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Senate majority whip

“It's been an honor to work with you, especially on the SUCCEED Act. Thank you for your service to our nation!”

— Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

“Sen. Hatch is a friend for 37 (years) while serving together in U.S. Senate. He serves Utah and (the U.S. with) tremendous success. (He is) as effective as can be (and) deserves credit (for) doing so.”

— Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

“For more than 40 years, Orrin Hatch has faithfully and effectively represented Utah and promoted conservative principles in the U.S. Senate. (I am) thankful for his service and proud to call him a colleague and a friend.”

— Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

“While it is appropriate to thank Sen. Hatch for his many years of service, it is also appropriate that he has made the wise decision to retire from public service. It’s time for real change in our United States Senate, and that transformation begins with a senator who cares more about his constituents than about his legacy or chairmanships or large corporate donors.

— Mitchell Vice, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

“It was great to see that after 42 years you have kept your promise to the residents of Utah when you said you would not seek re-election in your last bid for the Senate. I am excited to see what will happen in this race with no incumbent advantage. The voters in Utah will get an opportunity to see some new options and hear new voices.”

— Craig Bowden, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate