By Krystal Baker
Sen. Orrin Hatch did it again.
Republican incumbent Hatch defeated Democratic challenger Scott Howell by 66 percent.
Hatch has served 24 years in the U.S. Senate, and will be returning for another six.
The senator said he has a number of priorities for his next term.
He said his priorities include protecting Social Security, building up the military, reducing the marriage tax and bringing monetary control of public education back to the state and local level.
The race, culminated Tuesday night at the Democratic and Republican rallies in downtown Salt Lake City.
For Howell, the race has not been easy. Running a campaign against a strong incumbent senator in a Republican stronghold has been a difficult one, particularly in obtaining media attention, said Paul Boehm, communications director of the Howell campaign.
Hatch, who was in Washington, D.C., for the bulk of the campaign season, said it has been difficult, but said he never intended to lose. He thanked his dedicated staff and his wife Elaine.
“I am happy to serve Utah for another six years. I am deeply humbled to have this opportunity to serve again. I am deeply grateful to all of the people who have worked with us and who made this possible,” Hatch said.
Hatch said his campaign focused on his legislative record for Utah.
“I have been able to help our state and our people,” Hatch said.
Howell said that in his campaign he attempted to show a contrast between the Hatch of 1976 and the Hatch of 2000.
“I have learned that a senior senator has lost touch,” Howell said.
Optimistic for the future, Howell said he would return to IBM and take the opportunities that come his way.
“I have met with thousands of people and businesses. I have learned what goes on in communities. Linda and the boys have thoroughly been troopers.
“We have gone to 32 barbecues, 28 rodeos and 21 parades; almost one in every city. It’s been a family affair, I have learned that Utah is a great place to live, and it has created opportunities,” Howell said.
Conceding defeat, Howell thanked supporters for being good Democrats and good people.
Howell said that Utah has not seen the last of him.
“We will be back. You haven’t heard the last of us.”