Mia Love says Hatch is retiring, Hatch’s office says not so fast

Rep. Mia Love was overheard by a reporter in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday saying this would be Sen. Orrin Hatch’s last term, but Hatch’s office quickly poured cold water on that idea.

Politico’s Colin Wilhelm overheard a comment by Love when she was asked about rumors that she was considering running for U.S. Senate in 2018. Love responded “No, but Hatch isn’t sticking around. We’re trying to get Mitt.”


Hatch’s office quickly fired back at Love’s statement saying Love was misinformed while referencing her own “tightening House Race.”

“While we appreciate the Congresswoman’s concern for the future of this critical Senate seat, despite her own tightening House race, she has been misinformed. Senator Hatch has said he intends to run but will make a final decision by the end of the year,” said a Hatch spokesperson in a statement. 

“When that decision is made, he will make the announcement himself. Nobody – be they consultants, operatives, or reported ‘close friends’ – will make that decision or announcement for him,” the statement continued.

Love’s office responded to UtahPolicy.com with a statement saying the comment about Hatch retiring was taken out of context.

“There was a tweet about an overheard conversation which was reported out of context.  I never mentioned whether Senator Hatch is running or not, and the staffers with me can confirm this. I have great respect and admiration for Senator Hatch. I appreciate his friendship and support for me throughout my career, and I will continue my long-running support for him,” said the email from Love’s staff.

It is curious that Love would say Hatch was retiring as both her and Hatch’s campaigns are run by longtime political operative Dave Hansen. UtahPolicy.com has reached out to Hansen for comment, but he has not yet responded.

Hatch promised when he ran for re-election in 2012 that this would be his final term. There has been speculation that Hatch was planning to step down next year, including a recent report citing several of his close friends who said Hatch was planning to retire.

If Hatch does retire, it has been reported that Mitt Romney is preparing to run to replace him. Rep. Chris Stewart has also expressed interest in running for Hatch’s seat as well as Sutherland Institute president Boyd Matheson. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon says he’s also interested in recruiting a candidate to run for Hatch’s seat next year.

As for Love, she is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Ben McAdams who announced he was running for Love’s seat in 2018.