“It is perplexing to me why a state Senator who hasn’t even finished his first term of service in the state and running on the platform of entitlement reform would want to challenge Sen. Hatch,” Hatch campaign manager Dave Hansen said.
One of Hatch’s main arguments for re-election is that he would take over as chairman of the Finance Committee if Republicans win the majority in November, and Hansen noted that in his extensive statement.
“Dan Liljenquist’s mantra on entitlement reforms would be little more than a flimsy campaign promise made by someone who would be positioned on a committee that has no influence over fiscal policy,” Hansen said. “Why would Utah want to give up its chance to have an immediate voice in setting the agenda to deal with the most pressing issues of our time?”
The convention, which usually attracts the more conservative wing of the state party, requires a 60 percent take of the convention vote to secure the nomination. Otherwise the top two finishers advance to a primary, where Hatch would have the advantages of a broader party electorate and name identification.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.