Report says Hatch retiring. Hatch says ‘not so fast’

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's senior U.S. Senator finishes his seventh term in office next year, and the political world well beyond Utah is anxious to know if he'll run for an eighth.

On Friday, an article on The Atlantic Magazine website cited unnamed sources saying Orrin Hatch has decided to retire, while the only people willing to talk on the record, including Hatch himself, say it's not true.

"I've made a decision to run," Hatch said with a major caveat, "unless my friend Mitt Romney calls me and says he'd like to run, and then I'd gladly step aside."

That's something Hatch has already said, when talking with a reporter for the National Journal in March.

Sources close to Mitt Romney have told Fox 13 he would run if Hatch decides to retire.

Hatch's longtime friend and campaign manager Dave Hansen told Fox 13 Hatch is waiting to decide while focusing on tax reform. In the meantime Hatch has a warchest of almost five million dollars according to his September 30 filing with the Federal Election Commission, and he's continuing to raise money in advance of the 2018 election.

"We're well prepared to run a very strong, very efficient, and very full campaign, and it'll be a winning campaign if he decides to go again," Hansen said.