If, as expected, Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to run for an eighth term in Washington, he would be the seventh to try. Five of the six previous attempts were successful.
Smart Politics says there have been 17 Senators who have served seven terms in Washington. Most of those resigned.
Hatch is the 8th longest-serving Senator in history and the second longest-serving Republican ever.
If Hatch wins his 8th term, he’ll join a long list of legendary politicians:
- South Carolina Democrat/Republican Strom Thurmond: elected in 1954/1956 (the latter a special election to the same term caused by his own resignation), 1960, 1966, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
- West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd: 1958, 1964, 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006
- Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy: 1962 (special), 1964, 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006
- Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye: 1962, 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010
- Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy: 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2016
The only senator who lost his bid for an 8th term was Alaska Republican Ted Stevens.
There are 10 Senators who have served seven terms, but did not seek an 8th:
- Four retired: Arizona Democrat Carl Hayden in 1968, Louisiana Democrat Russell Long in 1986, Mississippi Democrat John Stennis in 1988, and South Carolina Democrat Fritz Hollings in 2004
- Two resigned: Virginia Democrat Harry Byrd, Sr. in 1965 and Delaware Democrat Joe Biden in 2009
- Two died: Wyoming Republican Francis Warren in 1929 and Georgia Democrat Richard Russell in 1971
- Two are currently in office: Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley [Cochran also technically served one week at the end of the 95th Congress before the start of his first full term when Democrat James Eastland resigned to give Cochran greater seniority for his state in the entering class].