Hatch Makes Split-Second Reversal, Will Not Run for Policy Chair

Posted June 17, 2009 at 3:45pm

Updated: 5:02 p.m.

Reversing almost immediately on a decision to run for Republican Policy Committee chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Wednesday he no longer intends to pursue the post.

Hatch changed his mind just minutes after saying he would run to succeed Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), calling it a “fleeting thought.— Ensign stepped down from the No. 4 leadership job earlier in the day after admitting to an extramarital affair with a former campaign aide.

—I’ve just got too much on my plate,— Hatch said.

Hatch is a leading voice in the Republican Conference on health care and judiciary matters. He serves on the Finance; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Judiciary committees.

Hatch also said he would support the candidacy of Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who currently serves as vice chairman of the Conference and is seen as the leading candidate to replace Ensign.