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Washington • Sen. Orrin Hatch says he intends to run again in 2018, and he'll have a bulging campaign account ready to seek an eighth term.

Hatch has $3.5 million cash on hand, according to a summation of his latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, a campaign kitty that rivals that of senators facing tough re-election battles.

The Utah Republican, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, raised $1.5 million in the past quarter as he gears up for a possible bid.

Hatch's office did not release the full FEC report, so the sources of contributions were unclear.

The 83-year-old senator has hedged on whether he would run again but was more forceful in an interview with KUTV-Channel 2 this week when he said, "Right now, yes, I'm going to run." He said he may step aside, though, if he or his wife, Elaine, faced health concerns.

Tuesday, the senator — who had promised his 2012 race would be his last — said that he's still giving "careful consideration" to a possible re-election bid.

"I have never taken any election for granted, and I would relish the opportunity to put my record before the voters," Hatch said in a statement. "While I have taken steps to run, I have yet to make a final decision. I remain focused on my work in the Senate and will make any political decisions in due course."

Hatch's spokesman, Matt Whitlock, said that his boss has "occasionally offered offhand speculation" about his future plans but he's not made a formal decision.

"If he does seek re-election, he will win," Whitlock added. "In a time of considerable uncertainty in Washington, the senator has an unparalleled track record of major bipartisan victories. Coming off perhaps his most effective Congress yet, he will fight to ensure that Utah has the best possible seat at the table."

A January poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics showed that while a majority of Utah voters (51 percent) had a favorable view of Hatch, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) were against him seeking another term. That includes 58 percent who said he should "definitely not" run.

A second Tribune-Hinckley poll in March found 72 percent against Hatch running for an eighth term, with 49 percent saying "definitely not."

Hatch's 2012 campaign, in which he faced opposition from the right wing of his party, spent more than $13 million to win a seventh term.