Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch could be facing his toughest re-election fight against newly announced challenger Dan Liljenquist. [Trib] [WaPost] [RollCall] [DNews] [StandEx]
-> Liljenquist is the target of a massive public records request. Welcome to the campaign! [UtahPolicy]
-> Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love will kick off her 4th Congressional District campaign today. [Trib]
-> State Rep. Carl Wimmer is resigning from the Legislature so he isn't barred from raising campaign funds for his congressional bid during the upcoming legislative session. [Trib] [DNews] Also, police say burglars did not target Wimmer's campaign office. [Trib]
Happy Birthday: to Josh Loftin, reporter extraordinaire. And a belated happy birthday to former Gov. Norm Bangerter, who celebrated on Wednesday.
Happening today: Hatch will appear at a town hall meeting in North Salt Lake today at 5:30 P.M. Mountain time. The event will be held at 10 East Center Street. Huntsman holds four events across New Hampshire, starting with a Rotary Club at 7 a.m. Eastern time. Romney also holds an early-morning town hall and then heads to South Carolina for a quick trip.
Spotted: At the Romney rally in Manchester, former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt sitting stageside with Romney's son, Tagg.
Tweet of the day: From @nickconfessore: "McCain endorsement undoubtedly a boost for Romney in NH. But probably not reassuring to conservative activist types elsewhere."
In other news: The Deseret News laid off a big portion of its staff a year ago, and City Weekly's Eric Peterson documents the impact of the changes, including low morale and Windergate. [CityWeekly]
-> Bagley explains that getting your shovels out in New Hampshire has nothing to do with snow. [Trib]
-> The 13 rural Utah post offices on the agency's possible hit list has small-town residents fighting mad. [Trib]
-> Utah Policy's Bryan Schott records a podcast on the need for more women to run for office. [UtahPolicy]
-> Peg McEntee can't understand why anyone would follow convicted child abuser Warren Jeffs. [Trib]
-> Federal Judge Dee Benson castigates prosecutors for trying to take in forfeiture action the property of convicted drug dealer Dr. Dewey MacKay. [Trib] [DNews]
-> West Valley City celebrates the opening of a new "back door" route to the Valley Fair Mall. [Trib]
-> A Utah-certified concealed carry permit instructor who fired into the window of a crashed, partially submerged car to rescue kids inside said use of a firearm was his only option. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert declares Radon Action Week slashing it from the Radon Action Month of the past. [Trib]
-> A letter criticizing the Utah County public defenders' office as a waste of money and incompetent was sent to county commissioners by one of the county prosecutors. [Trib]
2012 watch: Can Jon Huntsman be the Rick Santorum of New Hampshire? [WaPost] [Yahoo]
-> The Trib's Thomas Burr appears via Skype to give his insights on the Huntsman campaign. [KUTV]
-> Michele Bachmann is out after dismal Iowa showing. [ABCNews] [LATimes] [AP]
-> While Rick Perry has decided to continue on to South Carolina. [MSNBC] [Globe]
-> A Newt Gingrich linked super PAC recycles McCain's "Two Mitts" ad from 2008, an opening salvo in what could become a nasty primary fight. [WaPost]
-> Huntsman says Romney would just be a "status quo president." [LATimes]
-> If Romney wins in New Hampshire as expected, he would be the first Republican who was not an incumbent to win the first two contests. [LATimes]
-> Take a look at Romney: student protestor. [Buzzfeed]
Where are they?
Rep. Jason Chaffetz will visit his Provo and West Jordan offices.
S.L. County Mayor Peter Corroon attends the Salt Lake Valley Board of Health meeting and then the Salt Lake Council of Governments meeting.
SLC County Mayor Ralph Becker is in Washington for the National League of Cities Board of Directors meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder speaks to the Professional Republican Women's group, attends the Salt Lake County Council of Governments meeting and then stops by the Granite School District Reflections art event.
President Barack Obama will go to the Pentagon and deliver remarks on the Defense Strategic Review.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Canham Twitter.com/mattcanham with editor Dan Harrie