Utah’s Speaker of the House, Rep. Greg Hughes, has been rumored as a possible contender for a job in the upcoming Trump administration.
Hughes has been in Washington this week for a number of meetings, including one with members of the transition team of President-elect Donald Trump.
Hughes’ name has floated around Utah political circles for weeks as a contender for a high-profile role such as Transportation Secretary.
Tuesday’s announcement that Trump selected former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao would seem to squash those rumors, but Rep. Michael Noel, a longtime friend and colleague, says not so fast.
“I don’t know if an assistant secretary would be good too, because he has such a great background in transportation,” says Noel.
Hughes was first elected to the Utah legislature 14 years ago, and has served as chairman of the board of the Utah Transit Authority. Noel says Hughes would be a good fit because of his policy expertise.
“He’s able to take information and assimilate it and then articulate the points very, very well. So he’s really good on policy,” he says.
Another thing he’s got going for him is loyalty. Hughes was an unwavering supporter of Trump throughout the presidential campaign, surprising some of his colleagues.
“He looked at the big picture of what he [Trump] could do for the country with the Supreme Court and some of the other things and he wanted to do and he just stayed with him from the get-go,” says Noel. “So, very loyal.”
Hughes is not the only one with potentially higher political ambitions. Rep. Noel has submitted his name for consideration for the national director of the Bureau of Land Management and says, if chosen, he’d love to have Hughes come along with him.