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Politics & Government

Former Speaker Rebecca Lockhart Dies From Rare Neurodegenerative Disease

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Brian Grimmett
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File: Former Speaker of the House Rebecca Lockhart

Former Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Rebecca Lockhart died Saturday morning from a rare neurodegenerative brain disease.

Rebecca Lockhart served 16 years as a member of the Utah House of Representatives, serving the last four as Speaker of the House. She was the first female speaker in Utah’s history. During her time in office she worked hard to improve education and transportation infrastructure in the state.

Lockhart passed away after a short battle with an incurable and rare neurodegenerative brain disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Senator Curt Bramble has been the family’s spokesman throughout the illness. He was a long time friend of Lockhart and her family.

“I think I will remember her as a very close personal friend, a colleague, and someone who cared passionately for the state of Utah, for the institution of the Legislature, for the institution that we call America,” Bramble says.

He also says Lockhart was Utah’s Iron Lady. Many other legislators and acquaintances say they also remember her for her strong leadership, such as when she led the House into a costly investigation of then Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

“It was a high cost, but we cannot put a price on public trust," Lockhart said as she received the final House Investigative Committee report. "One does not cut corners when the very integrity of our justice system is in question.”

Lockhart is survived by her husband, Stan, and three children. She was 46. 

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