UNITED STATES — The longest-serving Republican in the Senate has announced he is not running for an eighth term.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has served in the Senate for 42 years and will retire at the end of 2018. Hatch currently serves on the Senate Finance Committee and most recently helped write the tax reform law approved last month.
Hatch’s retirement announcement could put an Iowan in line to become president. The current succession order is Vice President Mike Pence, followed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, and then Senate President pro tempore Hatch. Once Hatch retires, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran would become third in line for the presidency. However, Cochran is expected to announce his own retirement this month because of health concerns.
This would move Iowa Senator Charles Grassley into the number three position and make him the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. Grassley was elected to the Senate in 1980.