SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The news of Senator Orrin G. Hatch’s death has caused great turmoil across the state of Utah. Hatch, known for being the longest-serving Senator in Utah history, made a name for himself both nationally and locally in politics working alongside many well known legislators. After hearing of his death, many of those who worked in partnership or in competition with Hatch spoke out expressing their condolences.
The Hatch foundation initially made waves by Tweeting of Hatch’s death, writing, “The Hatch Foundation sadly announced the passing of Senator Orrin G. Hatch–the former President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate and the longest-serving Senator in Utah history (1977-2019). To learn more about his life, click here: https://orinnhatchfoundation.org”
Shortly after this announcement, former U.S. Representative Ben Adams Tweeted, “Orrin Hatch leaves a remarkable legacy in our state and county. When people talk about healing the divide in our country, they talk about Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy how they disagreed, remained friends and found solutions. I am grateful for his public service. #utpol”
Next, Representative Chris Stewart chimed in, Tweeting, “Orrin Hatch was a close personal friend and mentor who I – and so many others – will miss dearly. His service to our state and country was unmatched, and for that we will be forever grateful. God bless you, Senator Hatch.”
Representative John Curtis released a public statement regarding Hatch’s death on his Twitter account, deeming him as “one of Utah’s best,” and adding that he “learned a lot from Orrin about how to work with broad coalitions and individuals with diverse views for the benefit of Utah.”
Senate President J. Stuart Adams issued a press release, reading, “ Sen. Hatch played an indispensable role in passing some of the most significant bipartisan achievements in recent history and was a passionate defender of religious liberty. He has done immeasurable good for our state and lived an amazing life. Today Utah lost an exemplary leader,” along with his grievances.
Former State Senate Minority Leader and current Candidate for the U.S. Senate, Scott N. Howell, gave consolation to the Hatch family in a press release, writing, “Having run against Orrin Hatch twice for the U.S. Senate, I always appreciated the candor and respect we had for each other. Orrin was a tough competitor and a very talented politician. My deepest condolences to his wonderful wife Elaine and family at this very tender time. Rest In Peace Senator.”
Along with a brief Tweet, Governor Spencer Cox released a public statement in regards to Hatch’s death, writing, “…Orrin Hatch lived a tremendous life dedicated to public service. We honor his legacy of effective and bipartisan lawmaking that served countless Utahns and Americans.”
Former Governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert had known Hatch since 1967. Along with photos, he Tweeted, “He was a great man and a great Senator who represented Utah and America extremely well for 42 years. He was one of the great ones. He will be missed.”
Senator Mike Lee of Utah released a lengthy public statement on the matter, which reads in part, “Orrin was a friend, a mentor, and an example to me and countless others. I saw countless times how his brilliant mind, quick wit, and care for his nation, his state, and his colleagues turned pernicious problems into clear paths forward. His example of dedication, principled statesmanship and consistent collegiality is missed but will never be forgotten.”