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Spencer Cox Moves Closer to becoming Lt. Governor

Brian Grimmett/KUER
Lt. Governor nominee Spencer Cox.

Members of a Utah Senate committee gave Spencer J Cox a favorable recommendation as Lieutenant Governor Tuesday. His nomination will considered by the full Senate on Wednesday.

Governor Gary Herbert appeared at Tuesday’s hearing to support his nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

“I think he’s the total package,” says Governor Herbert.

Gov. Herbert said Cox’s background in law, the private sector, and state and local government make him an ideal replacement for Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, who resigned last month.

Cox has worked as an executive at a rural telecommunications company, Sanpete County commissioner, city councilman and mayor. Most recently he was elected as a state representative.

“And what I learned is a deep love for the people and a respect for the process,” says Spencer Cox.

The duties of Utah’s Lt. Gov. include the oversight of all local, state and federal elections. Members of the Senate Government Operations Confirmation Committee questioned Cox about modernizing elections with electronic signatures. They also asked him about the Count My Vote Initiative – which aims to replace Utah’s caucus-convention system for nominating political candidates with direct primary elections. Cox initially avoided the question by saying his personal opinion on the matter is irrelevant as long as the law is upheld, but Sen. John Valentine pressed Cox for an answer.

“I think that as citizens, we have a duty to apply ourselves and to get involved, but we also shouldn’t try to set up unnecessary roadblocks. And so finding that balance is critical,” says Cox.

He says he wants to study the issue further, but assured the committee that he will make recommendations about election processes to the legislature.

The committee gave Cox a favorable vote. The full senate will meet on Wednesday and vote to approve his appointment to the post of Lt. Governor. 

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