Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

During the past 100 years, only 12 men have occupied Utah's two seats in the U.S. Senate. The list includes an LDS apostle, a future member of the U.S. Supreme Court, an astronaut and a father-and-son combo. In commemoration of Mike Lee taking his Senate seat on Jan. 3, the Deseret News ranks the Top 12 Utah Senators of the last 100 years according to their respective lengths of service.

12 Mike Lee 2011
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

Mike Lee officially became a U.S. Senator at noon on Jan. 3 — two days before his swearing-in on the Senate floor.

He is the son of the late Rex Lee, former U.S. Solicitor General and president of BYU, and brother of Tom Lee, a judge on the Utah Supreme Court.

He enters office as the youngest U.S. Senator — seven days younger than Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

11 Abram Murdock 1941-47, 6 years
Utah State Historical Society

Born in Nevada, Murdock moved to Beaver when he was 5 years old. After serving on the Beaver City Council and as attorney for Beaver County, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1932. Murdock's Senate term commenced after eight years in the House.

10 Arthur Watkins 1947-59, 12 years
Utah State Historical Society

Watkins famously chaired the Senate committee in 1954 that investigated Sen. Joseph McCarthy and whether his anti-Communist character attacks merited censure.

As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee of Indian Affairs, Watkins zealously advocated the termination of Native American tribal entities.

9 George Sutherland 1905-17, 12 years and 1 day
Library of Congress

Born in England, Sutherland lost his first election for public office when he failed in his bid for mayor of Provo in 1892. Thereafter, however, he notched several political victories: Utah State Senate (1896), U.S. House of Representatives (1900), and finally to the U.S. Senate (1904).

Sutherland, who helped found the Utah State Bar, sat on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1922-38.

8 Elbert Thomas 1933-51, 17 years and 10 months
Utah State Historical Society

One of the first LDS missionaries to serve in Japan, Thomas ran for the U.S. Senate in 1932 against Reed Smoot — a Mormon apostle — in large part because of his displeasure with Smoot-backed policies that adversely affected Japan.

7 Bob Bennett 1993-2011, 18 years
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Bob Bennett won his father's old Senate seat following Jake Garn's retirement by narrowly defeating Joe Cannon in the 1992 Republican primary.

Bennett is the grandson of former LDS Church President Heber J. Grant; his wife Joyce is a granddaughter of another LDS president, David O. McKay.

6 Frank Moss 1959-77, 18 years
Deseret News archives

A graduate of Granite High and the University of Utah, Moss won the 1958 Senate election with less than 40 percent of the popular vote because Utah Republicans split their votes between several candidates.

Moss soundly defeated BYU president Ernest Wilkinson in his 1964 re-election bid. He is the last Democrat to represent Utah in the U.S. Senate.

(Note: Although Moss and Bob Bennett each served in the U.S. Senate for exactly 18 years, Moss narrowly edges Bennett on this list because his Senate term encompassed five leap years while Bennett's only included four leap years.)

5 Jake Garn 1974-93, 18 years and 1 month
NASA, Deseret News archives

The former Navy pilot made history by becoming the first sitting member of Congress to enter outer space when he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985. Garn also served as mayor of Salt Lake City in the early 1970s.

4 Wallace Bennett 1951-74, 23 years and 11 months
Deseret News archives

An infantry officer in World War I, Bennett (shown in photo with Ronald Reagan) worked as a high school principal and paint manufacturer before running for the Senate in 1950. He resigned shortly before the end of his final term after not running for reelection in the 1974 election that Jake Garn won.

Bennett wrote the lyrics for "God of Power, God of Right," Hymn No. 20 in the LDS hymnbook.

3 William King 1917-41, 24 years
Utah State Historical Society

William King also served on the Utah Supreme Court (1894-96) and in the U.S. House of Representatives (1897-99, 1900-01). From 1939-41, King was President pro tem of the U.S. Senate, i.e. highest-ranking Senator.

2 Reed Smoot 1903-33, 30 years
Library of Congress

He served as an apostle in the LDS Church throughout his entire time in the U.S. Senate. His father, Abraham O. Smoot, was the second mayor of Salt Lake City.

1 Orrin Hatch 1977-2011, 34 years
Deseret News archives

Orrin Hatch has never lost a political election. Up for re-election again in 2012, he came into office by defeating Frank Moss, a three-term incumbent Democrat, in 1976.

Hatch's undergraduate degree is from BYU and his law degree from Pittsburgh.