While Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) publicly debates whether he will seek an eighth term in the Senate – he was originally elected in 1976 and is the second-longest serving Republican Senator in US history – the Democrats brought forth a credible candidate this week either to oppose him or run in an open seat. Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson officially announced her candidacy. Ms. Wilson has twice won the at-large Council position, meaning she has won two elections countywide in the state’s largest governmental entity. She is the daughter of former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson (D). Her career covers an array of communications and political positions and she has the ability to wage a potentially competitive statewide campaign.
While Sen. Hatch says he is leaning toward running again, his substantial fundraising action ($1 million in the second quarter; $4.1 million cash-on-hand) suggests that he will once again be on the ballot in the next election. Republicans are heavy favorites to hold this seat, but it now appears at least some competition is on the political horizon.
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