SALT LAKE CITY – Dan Liljenquist officially launched his campaign to become Utah’s next US Senator on Wednesday.
Liljenquist’s announcement comes on the heels of his resignation from the Utah Senate last month. The news confirms speculation that he plans to run against incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch.
“Washington, D.C., is broken, and some of our own Republican lawmakers share in the blame,” he said in a statement. “It’s time for new conservative ideas from those who have the energy to see them through.”
Liljenquist, 37, who describes himself as a fiscal and social conservative, was elected to the Utah State Senate in 2008. During his with the state legislature he gained favor with conservative groups like the tea party and FreedomWorks.
“We are very pleased to see a dedicated and proven conservative like Dan Liljenquist step up and challenge the status quo in Utah,” said FreedomWorks president Mike Kibbe. “His record in the State Senate shows clearly that Liljenquist has the ability to produce innovative solutions to budget woes, and to effectively turn those ideas into action and real legislative change.”
Liljenquist received FreedomWorks Legislative Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011. He has also been named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine and has been called a “policy pioneer” by the Wall Street Journal.
Liljenquist, whose political career started in 2008, will be challenging Sen. Hatch who has served as one of Utah’s senators for 36 years.
Despite having three decade serving in Washington, D.C., and having a strong base, Sen. Hatch has fallen out of favor with some constituents and conservative entities.
“Senator Orrin Hatch…has consistently abandoned limited government principles, authored legislation with liberal Democrats, and voted to expand the size of the federal government,” Kibbe said, and added “…Why settle for an Orrin Hatch, when you can have another Mike Lee?
Hatch is lumped in with a generation of long-standing politicians who Liljenquist said needs to be replaced.
“This country desperately wants leadership, while all we’ve seen for decades are members of Congress who are either unwilling or incapable of providing it,” Liljenquist said.
Liljenquist is a businessman and attorney from Bountiful, Utah. He received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago, and has worked for a Fortune 500 company as a strategy consultant. He has also and served as a president and CEO of an in-bound call center based in Roy, Utah.
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