Hatch nabs endorsement from key conservative talker

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Tuesday scored the endorsement of conservative talk show host Mark Levin ahead of a possible primary battle.

Hatch's campaign promoted the endorsement of Levin, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative radio talk show host who's shown a willingness to go after the Republican establishment.

"It would be a sad place in the Senate if we knocked you off in the Republican system in Utah," Levin said last night on his radio show, on which Hatch was a guest. "What's crucial going forward is that we stop the president's agenda, take back the United States Senate, and I feel that you would be ... a terrific elder statesman to a lot of these other young guys who I'm going to be pushing in these other states."

Hatch has been gearing up for a tough primary battle for renomination heading into his reelection effort next fall. He's pivoted to tackle some of conservatives' pet issues even more aggressively, in part to help stave off a challenge.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is one of the top candidates in Utah eyeing a challenge to Hatch, and says he'll decide whether to seek the Senate seat sometime this fall.

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