The head of Utah's Democratic Party has called for authorities to determine if Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch meets the legal definition of "inhabitant," contending the candidate for re-election does not own a home in Utah.
State Democratic Party Chairman Randy Horiuchi on Thursday released copies of a letter he sent to Lt. Gov. Val Oveson, requesting that he clarify the definition of the term "inhabitant" as it is used in the Constitution to describe the requirements for holding the office of senator.Horiuchi said in an accompanying press release that Hatch lists as his residency his parents' home at 150 E. 7159 South in Midvale. He goes on to criticize Hatch for not paying property taxes and having other "homely duties."
Hatch's campaign manager, Bud Scruggs, said that house was purchased by Hatch for his parents sometime after he sold the house where he, his wife and five children lived until he was first elected and moved to Washington, D.C.
At no time during his tenure in Washington, D.C., Scruggs said, has Hatch not owned a home in Utah, and Hatch recently purchased a condominium in downtown Salt Lake City.
Horiuchi had also said that Hatch is only in Utah some 45 days a year, and that when he is in the state, he stays in a downtown hotel. Scruggs said Hatch is in Utah nearly every weekend and stayed with his parents until purchasing the condominium.
The issue was raised, Horiuchi said, because it is a symbol of Hatch's lack of respect toward Utah.
rather than as a means to remove him from office. Horiuchi said the party has known since 1982 that Hatch's parents live at his claimed residence.