WASHINGTON -- Former Republican Utah legislator Dan Liljenquist, a 2011 Governing Public Official of the Year, has announced that he's going to run for the U.S. Senate in Utah and will challenge six-term Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Liljenquist has garnered praise from tea party groups who are disenchanted with Hatch and hopes to pull off the kind of upset that two years ago led to the defeat of Sen. Bob Bennett.
The 37-year-old resigned last month from the Utah Senate in a sign that he was likely to challenge Hatch. He had helped lead an overhaul of the pension system for state employees and of the state's Medicaid program during his first term in office.
Liljenquist said he would focus his campaign on reducing the nation's debt. He says Washington is broken and that some GOP lawmakers share in the blame.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.