This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday endorsed Sen. Orrin Hatch for re-election, even though he called his challenger, Dan Liljenquist, "a bright talent and my friend."

Herbert said Hatch's "experience and seniority in the U.S. Senate will be invaluable" in challenges the state faces, "whether it's growing the economy, supporting Hill Air Force Base, defending access to natural resources or promoting sensible health care reform."

Herbert added, "Hatch's tireless work ethic, grounded in conservative Utah values and matched by his keen understanding of critical issues, make him the best choice for Utah."

Hatch thanked Herbert.

"We have spent many years working together on issues important to Utahns and the state we both love. I look forward to our continued efforts to ensure that the state of Utah, not Washington, decides what is best for its citizens."

Hatch and Liljenquist face each other in a GOP primary on June 26.

Lee Davidson