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Hatch Named No. 2 at NRSC

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) on Wednesday named his most prolific fundraising lieutenant, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), as his No. 2 at the political committee.

Hatch’s vice chairmanship at the NRSC comes just a week after he helped the committee exceed its fundraising goals for the annual President’s Dinner, its largest money event of the year. The NRSC had hoped to raise $12 million, but Hatch — as co-chairman of the fundraiser — surpassed that mark by collecting $13.5 million.

Hatch, a veteran lawmaker, has led his Senate GOP colleagues in fundraising for most of the 2008 cycle, which is shaping up as daunting for the party. About 23 Republican-held seats are in play, compared with just a dozen Democratic slots, and the NRSC is at a severe fundraising disadvantage compared to its counterpart, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Up for re-election in 2012, Hatch has said that he’s not interested in succeeding Ensign as the NRSC chairman next cycle. Hatch’s vice chairmanship at the NRSC will end with Ensign’s chairmanship at the end of the year.

“Hatch has been invaluable to this committee and to the Republican Party this cycle,” said Rebecca Fisher, spokeswoman to the NRSC. “A good night in November will be due to his efforts, and we are thrilled that he accepted Sen. Ensign’s offer.”

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