This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Sen. Orrin Hatch has endorsed Gov. Gary Herbert's re-election bid, but the Utah governor isn't returning the favor.

Herbert said this week that he's staying "neutral" in Hatch's race where the longtime senator faces challenges by fellow Republicans who argue that Hatch has been in Washington too long.

"I think Senator Hatch has served us extremely well," Herbert said. "He's a longtime friend of mine and certainly his argument that seniority has impact back here in Washington … is true. I think that's a compelling argument."

But, the governor hedged, he's also friends with former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, and Herbert doesn't want to weigh in. Provo Rep. Chris Herrod has also filed to take on the senator.

Hatch, for his part, says he understands that Herbert doesn't want to weigh in.

"He's running his own race, and I don't have any problem with that," Hatch said just off the Senate floor. "Everybody knows that the Senate race is a controversial race. We're doing fine though. We're going to keep doing fine, and we're going to win it."