Liljenquist Says Primary Consideration in Senate Race is Family

State Sen. Dan Liljenquist (R-Bountiful)

(KCPW News) While Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz is out of the running for U.S. Senate, a Republican lawmaker is still considering a challenge against longtime incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch. State Senator Dan Liljenquist of Bountiful was first elected to the Utah Legislature in 2008.

“It’s still something my wife and I are considering,” he tells KCPW. “We’ve always said that if we make a decision to get in this race, we’ll make it later this fall, so that is still up in the air. Our only consideration, our primary consideration is our young family. We’ve got six young kids, and I’m a 37-year-old father of six.”

The legislator says he’s always maintained that Chaffetz’s political plans would have no impact on whether he runs.

Liljenquist has gained attention in the Utah Legislature for spearheading efforts to reform the state’s retirement system for public employees and Medicaid reform.

“I’m interested to see from our leaders leadership on entitlement reform issues, and those are the issues that I’ve focused on in the Utah Legislature,” says Liljenquist. “I’m looking to see if Senator Hatch and others will lead on this issue.”

Senator Hatch has been in office since 1977. He’s been aggressively fundraising as he faces harsh criticism from Tea Party-related groups.