Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Senator Orrin Hatch speaks to the media about Dan Liljenquist narrowly forcing him into a primary election at the Utah Republican Party 2012 Nominating Convention at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy on Saturday, April 21, 2012.

I am very disappointed by Sen. Orrin Hatch's unwillingness to debate Dan Liljenquist prior to the primary election.

I agree with the statement in the Deseret News editorial from May 17: Hatch "has shown he is willing to cynically use his position to block the open and transparent debate his constituents deserve."

I have heard so many say they are voting for Hatch because of his seniority. They are often quick to add that they don't like the "seniority" issue but it is still how politics are done.

I believe Hatch is misusing his power and seniority to do what best serves his political agenda in this election.

I think most people, whether voting for or against Hatch, would like to hear and see both candidates debate. If Hatch is listening to many of the people he is representing, he would be holding a prime time televised debate.

In addition, if Hatch has the talent and ability to lead as he says he still can, he should have no concerns about debating with Liljenquist and an open, issue-oriented debate should be welcomed.

Perhaps it's time to send a new senator to Washington. Is seniority really getting what we want done?

Carolee Tanner