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Utah Sen. Sen. Orrin Hatch forced into primary fight against state Sen. Dan Liljenquist
SANDY, Utah (AP) ' U.S. Sen. Sen. Orrin Hatch has been forced into a primary fight for his seventh term.
Hatch failed to get the needed 60 percent of delegate votes during Saturday's Utah Republican convention that would have made him the outright GOP nominee.
He'll now face former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist (lihl-IHN'-kwihst) during the June 26 primary elections. Hatch, however, holds a significant advantage given his campaign's millions of dollars compared to his opponent's limited funds for advertising.
Hatch had been in a tough race under Utah's unique nominating system where 4,000 delegates were elected in March to select their nominee at Saturday's convention.
The 2010 convention saw the ouster of three-term Republican Sen. Bob Bennett in an upset fueled by a tea party surge. Hatch has been working feverishly to avoid the same fate.