The New York Times reports:
Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Senate Republican, plans to announce on Tuesday he will retire at the end of the year, rebuffing the pleas of President Trump to seek an eighth term and paving the way for Mitt Romney to run for the seat. Mr. Hatch intends to announce his decision Tuesday afternoon via a video announcement, according to two Republican officials briefed on the plans.
Mr. Hatch, 83, was under heavy pressure from Mr. Trump to seek re-election and block Mr. Romney, who has been harshly critical of the president. But Mr. Hatch, who emerged as one of the president’s most avid loyalists in the Senate, decided to retire after discussing the matter with his family over the holidays. The veteran senator was also facing harsh poll numbers in Utah, where 75 percent of voters indicated in a survey last fall that they did not want him to run again.
“Every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And for me, that time is soon approaching,” said the 83-year-old senator, who was first elected in 1976, in a video announcement. “That’s why after much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term.”
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 2, 2018