Utah candidates running for the U-S Senate race hoped to debate GOP incumbent Orrin Hatch on Tuesday night in Bountiful. What they got instead was an empty chair and a name plate labeled Orrin Hatch. A spokesperson for the Hatch campaign says the Senator will hold off on debates for the time being.
Evelyn Call is Communications Director for the Hatch campaign. She says Hatch was hosting a town hall meeting in Rich County at the time of the debate between Democrat Scott Howell, Independent party candidate Bill Barron and Constitution party candidate Shaun McCausland. Call says the campaign has decided it’s still too early to schedule debates.
“We will take the time to carefully look over what our options are and what would be the most beneficial location to reach the biggest audience," Call says. "We will be doing debates it will just be closer to the election.”
Tuesday night in Bountiful, the challengers debated social security reform, the budget and job creation. All three candidates agreed a constitutional amendment is not necessary to balance the nation’s budget. Call says that’s something Hatch has championed for many years.
“He’s introduced it 22 times," Call says. "So that’s absolutely a huge priority for Senator Hatch and will continue to be.”
Howell, Barron and McCausland have agreed to debate at least eight more times before the November election. Evelyn Call says Senator Hatch will not commit to show up at any of those scheduled events.