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Hatch's office fires back at Utah lawmaker for suggesting he will retire

Hatch's office fires back at Utah lawmaker for suggesting he will retire
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line MORE's (R-Utah) office on Wednesday fired back at Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) for reportedly suggesting that he wouldn’t be running for Senate again in 2018.

Politico’s Colin Wilhelm tweeted Wednesday that Love was overheard dismissing the possibility of her running for Senate, but said Hatch wouldn’t be "sticking around."

"No, but Hatch isn't sticking around. We're trying to get Mitt,” Love reportedly said.

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Hatch's office quickly disputed Love's comments with a statement that took aim at "her own tightening House race," saying she was "misinformed" about the long-time senator's plans.

“While we appreciate the Congresswoman’s concern for the future of this critical Senate seat, despite her own tightening House race, she has been misinformed. Senator Hatch has said he intends to run but will make a final decision by the end of the year,” a Hatch spokesperson said in a statement.

“When that decision is made, he will make the announcement himself. Nobody — be they consultants, operatives, or reported ‘close friends’ — will make that decision or announcement for him.”

Several Democrats have announced bids to try to unseat Love, including Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

Love later issued a statement on Twitter asserting that her original comment was taken "out of context."

"I never mentioned whether Senator Hatch is running or not," Love said. "I have great respect and admiration for Senator Hatch. I appreciate his friendship and support for me throughout my career, and I will continue my long-running support for him."

Hatch’s office had previously disputed a report from The Atlantic last week that said the 83-year-old senator was planning to retire at the end of his term so Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee who lives in Utah, could run for the seat.

“Nothing has changed since The Atlantic published a carbon copy of this same story in April, likely with the same anonymous sources who were no more informed on the senator's thinking than they seem to be now,” Hatch spokesman Dave Hansen said at the time.

Updated: 5:05 p.m.