Washington • Sen. Orrin Hatch gave $1,000 to Utah attorney general candidate Sean Reyes on Tuesday, an attempt to prove his neutrality in the Republican primary between Reyes and John Swallow.
The donation, issued Tuesday, came after The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the senator at the end of April gave $1,000 to Swallow, the current deputy attorney general. Both contributions were issued through Hatch’s political action committee, OrrinPAC.
Reyes said Hatch told him he wouldn’t endorse an attorney general candidate and was perplexed by the senator’s contribution to his opponent. He talked Monday to Hatch’s campaign manager Dave Hansen. Hansen reiterated that the senator had no intention of picking sides and agreed to match the contribution to Swallow.
“I took that as the senator honoring his commitment,” Reyes said. “I appreciate him giving both campaigns a donation.”
Hansen said Hatch wants to make sure a Republican replaces outgoing Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and he says both Reyes and Swallow are qualified candidates.
“To show that he is not getting involved in the race, he’s going to make a contribution to both of the candidates,” said Hansen, who did not have an explanation why Hatch gave to Swallow in April.
One of Hatch’s campaign strategists and one of his Senate staffers are working for Swallow, though Hansen said that is not an indication of support.