Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox on Tuesday, May 14, officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor of Utah in 2020.
“After much prayer and deliberation, Abby and I are excited to announce we are running for governor of the great state of Utah in 2020,” Spencer Cox said in a video. “Serving as lieutenant governor during one of the most successful periods in state history has provided me with the knowledge and experience necessary to sustain our prosperity and take full advantage of important opportunities ahead.”
Lt. Gov. Cox was first elected to the Fairview City Council in 2004 and has since served as mayor, county commissioner and state representative prior to being appointed lieutenant governor in 2013. Before becoming lieutenant governor, he worked as vice president and general counsel at CentraCom, a telecommunications business managed by the Cox family since 1919 with operations today in nine Utah counties. In 2016, he and Gov. Gary Herbert were re-elected after winning the Republican primary by 44 percent, according to his campaign.
“We love Utah and serving the people of Utah, but the toxicity of campaigning made this a difficult decision for our family,” said Abby Cox, wife to Spencer. “Too many good people won’t run for office because campaigns have become too destructive, and we want to show it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Said Spencer Cox, “Our campaign will be different because we refuse to let this journey change who we are. Rather than showing contempt for others to get ahead, we will discuss solutions to position Utah for transformative achievements in education, transportation, water, air quality, housing and more. We are confident we will be successful, but our campaign will be a force for good regardless of the outcome. I invite every candidate to also hold themselves to this same standard.”
As the state’s chief elections officer, Cox has championed election reforms, which resulted in significantly higher voter participation, said his press release. Cox says he is a critical voice for rural Utah and a strong proponent for additional economic diversity in these communities. He has advocated for additional resources to students struggling with mental health challenges throughout the state, and leads the coordinated efforts of multiple state agencies to reduce intergenerational poverty in Utah, according to the campaign.
“I am very grateful to Governor Herbert for his encouragement, as well as the thousands of Utahns who have showed us their support in recent months,” Spencer Cox said. “Tomorrow’s opportunities must be embraced with dynamic and inclusive leadership which is rooted in conservative principles and aims to build better communities throughout our state.”
Nolan Karras, former Utah Speaker of the House and previous Republican candidate for governor, said, “Spencer Cox is the future of the Republican Party and will make a superb governor. He has a unique ability to bring people together in pursuit of reasonable and thoughtful outcomes. Our state is at a crossroads, and Lt. Gov. Cox’s experience and temperament makes him the right person to move our state forward at this pivotal time.”
“We cannot wait to begin this campaign to listen and learn directly from Utahns on the challenges facing our state and the issues that matter most,” Spencer Cox said.