Democrat Jenny Wilson is officially jumping into next year's U.S. Senate race, a move that was widely expected.
Wilson has been in exploratory mode in the race since March when UtahPolicy.com was the first to report that she was interested in the seat.
"Over the past few months, I have been overwhelmed by the encouragement to run by Utahns who are desperate for change in Washington," said Wilson in a press release. "They are tired of the bickering and recognize the bipartisan successes I have had working locally. While in exploratory status, 727 people even demonstrated their support through financial contributions, totaling $139,328. I am honored by their support and I am honored to officially announce my candidacy today,” said Wilson. “Utahans want a Senator who works for them, who listens to them and who gets things done. But after 40 years of Orrin Hatch, Washington is broken. Orrin Hatch is a decent man, but he’s part of the problem in Washington and he has forgotten who sent him there.”
Wilson criticized Hatch for ignoring the needs of Utahns while playing partisan games in Washington.
“While Orrin Hatch has been fueling partisanship in Washington,” Wilson said, “I’ve been working on the ground, across party lines to find common sense, bipartisan solutions to issues important to Utahans. In Salt Lake County, we’ve balanced our budgets, created jobs, protected our environment and confronted our opioid crisis – all with little help from Washington."
Hatch has been on the fence about running for a seventh term in Washington. He would be 84-years-old at the end of his current term, and 90 if he were to finish another go-round in Washington. Source have told UtahPolicy.com that Hatch is leaning toward retiring instead of running again.
Hatch has been raising money hand over fist, pulling in more than $1 million in the most recent reporting period, giving him more than $4 million in the bank.
If Hatch decides to retire, former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reportedly very interested in running for the seat next year. Former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden apparently urged Romney to run for the Senate during Romney's annual E2 Summit in Park City.
Wilson is not the only Democrat running in next year's Senate race. Democrat Danny Drew, an educator from the Uintah Basin previously declared his intention to run for the seat.