Former Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist launched the first TV ad of his Republican primary challenge to longtime Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The 30-second ad, for which the campaign spent about $125,000, slams Hatch for agreeing to only one debate — and only on the radio — before the June 26 contest. He asks viewers to call Hatch and request that more debates be held.
"Debates play a critical role in Utah elections," Liljenquist, looking into the camera, says in the ad. "Sen. Hatch used to believe this as well. In 1976 he challenged his primary opponent to eight debates. I've issued the same challenge to Sen. Hatch. But now he refuses to debate more than once, and he refuses to debate on television entirely."
Hatch, who is favored in the primary, narrowly missed out on securing the nomination at the state party convention in April, leaving two months of primary campaigning. In the general election, Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.