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Sen. Orrin Hatch announces retirement at the end of term

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. (KUTV, file)

RELATED: Photo gallery of Sen. Orrin Hatch.

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) - Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced Tuesday morning that he will not seek re-election when his term ends later this year.

Hatch made the announcement via a Twitter video in which he cited his accomplishments and said he was retiring.

“When the president visited Utah last month, he said I was a fighter. I’ve always been a fighter, I was an amateur boxer in my youth and brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington. But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves,” Hatch said in the video.

Reactions started pouring in from Utah political leaders.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox thanked Hatch for his service and said he makes Utah a better place.

Reports surfaced in December that President Donald Trump had spoken to Mitt Romney, who has previously said he would consider a run for Senate if Hatch retired in 2018.

During his visit to Utah in December, President Trump urged Hatch to continue his service in the Senate.

Romney has not made an announcement after the news of Hatch’s retirement, but a grassroots effort has been gathering signatures for a petition urging Romney to seek the Republican candidacy for the Senate in Utah.

This story will be updated with any developments.

Hatch said, "I may be leaving the Senate, but the next chapter in my public service is just beginning."

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