Utah law would allow Hatch to run for both presidency and U.S. Senate

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    By PAUL ROMER

    In 1976, on the last day to file for candidacy for the Utah Senate seat, a dark horse candidate named Orrin Hatch, entered the race and eventually won the seat he has held ever since.

    Senator Hatch will again be the underdog should he choose to follow the prodding of some of his Republican peers here in Utah and run for President.

    A new Utah law passed during the last legislative session makes it more likely Senator Hatch will throw his hat into the race.

    The law allows candidates to declare candidacy for more than one office. Hatch could run for president and wenator at the same time.

    If a bid for the presidency failed, he could still retain, if re-elected, his Senate seat. Bob Dole had to relinquish his Senate seat during the last presidential elections because Kansas had no such law.

    Meg Holbrook, the Utah State Democratic Party chair, has called for Hatch’s resignation from the Senate if he were to seek a presidential bid. Holbrook said it would be impossible for Hatch to fulfill his senatorial duties while running for president.

    Todd Taylor, Executive Director of the Utah State Democratic Party, said most Democrats in the state like the new law.

    Although Senator Hatch has not officially announced his candidacy for the presidency he is being encouraged to do so. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican Party Chairman, said Hatch met with state Republicans on Friday in Salt Lake City to discuss ways to make a presidential bid possible.

    CNN reported Monday that Hatch “has taken preliminary steps to construct a campaign.” Hatch’s press secretary Paul Smith, was unavailable for comment.

    For Hatch to be successful there must be a narrowing of the field of presidential hopefuls, and the front runner, George W. Bush will have to stumble.

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