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Could the Utah Senate race propel Thad Cochran to Senate Pro Tem?
I thought Steve Bannon was against incumbents.
By Alan Lange
There’s a situation brewing out in Utah.

Reports are out that Senate Pro Tem Orrin Hatch is looking to retire this year. But there’s a hitch. Former Massachusetts Governor and GOP Presidential nominee is waiting in the wings to run for Hatch’s seat as a carpetbagger. In light of that, both President Trump and Steve Bannon are doing everything they can to convince Hatch to run for re-election. There’s certainly no love lost between Trump and Romney.

But the interesting play is Bannon. A Bannon source was quoted in the Washington Examiner as saying “If Steve had a choice between Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney, he would pick Hatch 10 times out of 10.”

Huh? I thought Bannon was a drain-the-swamp, anti-incumbent type of guy. Orrin Hatch? Really?

Hatch’s decision in 2018 could also impact Mississippi’s senior senator as well. Hatch currently serves as president-pro-tempore and were he to not seek re-election, and were Republicans to hold the U.S. Senate, then Senator Thad Cochran would become president-pro-tempore in January 2019.

Cochran would be Mississippi’s fifth president-pro-tempore (George Poindexter 1834; Pat Harrison 1941; Jim Eastland 1972-1978; John C. Stennis 1987-1989) and would place Mississippi in fourth place of all states for the total number of pro-tems (Virginia with 7; Georgia and New Hampshire with 6 each).

While largely a ceremonial office, the president pro tempore is third in line in presidential succession behind the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. Under current Senate rules, the most senior member of the majority party serves as president pro-tem. Hatch has held the position since Republicans took the majority in January 2015. His current term expires in January 2019 with Cochran next in line among Republicans.

Posted December 4, 2017 - 9:57 am

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