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Gov. Herbert Backs Cruz To Be GOP Nominee

Brian Grimmett
Sen. Ted Cruz visited Salt Lake City last week to drum up support for his campaing. He also met with Gov. Gary Herbert, who threw his support behind the Texas senator.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

Herbert told reporters he’d been persuaded by mainstream Republicans like Mitt Romney who want anyone besides frontrunner Donald Trump to be the nominee in November.

“I don’t think he’s the best person for the job,” Herbert said. “It’s a matter of putting the best person that can be elected to the Oval Office, and I don’t think that Donald Trump is that person.”

Herbert leads the National Governors Association and seemed to be poised to back fellow GOP Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

“I have great reverence for him and respect for his leadership,” Herbert said. “But I’m also a practical Republican, and I see here in Utah that the pathway forward, the best opportunity we have to get the best man in the office is for Sen. Cruz.”

The governor called Cruz the party’s best hope for the White House and urged all Utahns to participate in their caucuses Tuesday night.

Supporters hope endorsements like these will help Cruz get all 40 of the state’s Republican delegates. If he gets less than half of them, he’ll be sharing delegates with the party’s two other candidates.

Herbert wouldn’t say if he’ll vote for Trump if he ends up topping the GOP ticket, but he added that he hopes he doesn’t have to make that decision.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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