Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, raised more than $150,000 Tuesday night at a fund-raising reception at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.
The affair attracted three Cabinet members and more than a dozen Republican senators as well as a horde of lobbyists.Aides to Hatch said they were pleased with the turnout and the money they raised. The senator's chief fund raiser, Bud Scruggs, estimated that after the reception Hatch will have about $1.65 million in the bank.
Another aide said the reception was planned to boost the Hatch coffers during the January-March reporting period for the Federal Election Commission to emphasize the senator's fund-raising ability.
"We want to demonstrate to the Democrats what we can do," another aide said. The aim is to show any other possible challengers, including former Gov. Scott Matheson, that a race against Hatch would be costly.
Scrugss said that if Matheson does not enter the race, and polls show Hatch with a large lead, fund raising efforts may be eased early in the summer.
"We have no intention of going for the $4.2 million record of (Sen. Jake Garn's) campaign two years ago." Scruggs said.