Former Utah state lawmaker Scott Howell is the Democrat hoping to keep Sen. Orrin Hatch from winning a seventh term this November.
Howell sat down with the Deseret News editorial board this week to answer questions about the campaign. He seems anxious to attack the senator’s age (Hatch is 78 and would be 84 at the end of his next term, should he win). The senator “could be my dad,” Howell said, hinting that Hatch lacks the stamina to continue serving effectively.
That’s the same tactic Republican challenger Dan Liljenquist used unsuccessfully in his primary election challenge of Hatch this year. Howell believes Liljenquist was hurt by tea party support and that he will be seen as a more palatable and reasonable candidate.
Howell also wants to paint Hatch as fiscally irresponsible and himself as a conservative Democrat. He especially emphasized Hatch’s support for Medicare Part D and for raising the debt ceiling several times.
This is Howell’s second try at unseating Hatch. He opposed him in 2000 and lost, receiving 31 percent of the vote. Hatch outspent him $5.25 million to $297,000 that year and looks to have a huge funding advantage this year, too.
Below are audio files of Howell’s answers to seven questions about his candidacy.
Aren’t you just your party’s sacrificial lamb in this race? Listen to the answer
Will you endorse President Obama or Mitt Romney? Listen to the answer
Where do you stand on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Listen to the answer
The Senate is polarized. Could you fix that? Listen to the answer
How do you define fiscal responsibility in relation to your opponent? Listen to the answer
What would be your priorities as a Senator? Listen to the answer
Would you make saving Hill Air Force Base a priority, as your opponent has? Listen to the answer