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Politics & Government
Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

Governor-Elect Spencer Cox’s Transition Team Will Focus on Education, Government Agency Review

Cox - Herbert Governor Transition
Steve Griffin, Deseret News
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Deseret News
Gov.-elect Spencer Cox speaks at a press conference Thursday announcing his transition team. Cox was announced as the winner of Utah’s gubernatorial race just minutes after the polls closed on Tuesday. He said he will focus on education and making the state government more efficient during his administration.

Gov.-elect Spencer Cox, currently serving as lieutenant governor, announced several members of his transition team Thursday morning.

Cox’s current interim chief of staff Jon Pierpont will become his chief of staff as governor. Former Salt Lake Tribune Executive Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce, who left the paper in August, will be his communications director.

Cox’s transition committee, which currently has more than 25 members, will conduct a review of the state’s government agencies.

“We will be asking them to look at efficiencies, and efficiency doesn't just mean cost saving, it means how are we being responsive to the citizens of the state, to our customers,” Cox said.

The transition team will be co-chaired by Lynne Ward, the former deputy chief of staff for former Utah Gov. Olene Walker, and Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.

Other members include former U.S. Republican Rep. Mia Love, homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson, Multicultural Commission Co-Chair Byron Russell, and three Republicans Cox competed against in the 2020 gubernatorial primary.

In addition to reviewing government agencies, the transition team will also begin developing policy ideas, Lt.Gov.-elect Deidre Henderson said.

“Education will be a top priority of a Cox-Henderson administration,” she said. “This team is rich in diversity and thought, political persuasions, gender, ethnicity and experience.”

As for the coronavirus pandemic, Cox said he’ll focus on increasing rapid testing, and getting a vaccine — when it becomes available — to frontline workers and vulnerable Utahns.

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