SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Governor Gary Herbert identified his new Lt. Governor Tuesday afternoon.
Rep. Spencer Cox, a state lawmaker from Sanpete County, will replace Greg Bell, who announced he would resign from the position on September 16, citing financial reasons. (Read a statement from Bell here.)
Governor Herbert will ask the Senate to confirm Cox as the new Lt. Governor on October 16, the next legislative interim day.
Read the full statement from Gov. Herbert's office:
Governor Names Rural House Member New Lt. Governor
Spencer Cox nominated to replace Greg Bell
SALT LAKE CITY – Today Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert named State Representative Spencer J. Cox (R – Dist. 58) of Fairview to replace Greg Bell as lieutenant governor. The Governor doesn’t expect the administration to miss a beat in this historic transition.
“Greg Bell leaves some pretty big shoes to fill, but Spencer Cox is the right person for the job. I am absolutely confident of his ability and talent,” said the Governor. “Spencer’s solid local government service, deep rural roots, astute legal acumen and meaningful business experience make him a great fit for this administration. It was important to me to select someone who held or holds public office—someone who understands being accountable to the people we serve.”
“I’m especially impressed with Spencer’s work ethic and commitment to public service,” the Governor added. “I work hard, I expect my team to work hard, and the Lt. Governor’s role is no exception. Spencer will take on a significant portfolio, especially as my lead with the Legislature, as the State’s chief elections officer and as chair of the Rural Partnership Board.”
“I am deeply honored at the trust Governor Herbert has placed in me and recognize the immense responsibility that accompanies this appointment,” said Cox. “I share Governor Herbert’s desire for limited, efficient government and a dedication to continued economic expansion that improves the lives of families in Utah. While it is impossible to completely replace Greg Bell, I pledge to work tirelessly to carry on the duties of the Lt. Governor's office with energy and integrity.”
A former Sanpete County commissioner and Fairview mayor and city councilman, Cox, 38, is presently the vice-president of CentraCom, a rural telecommunications company. Born and raised in Fairview, Cox and his wife, Abby, both graduated from North Sanpete High School, Snow College, and Utah State University. While at USU, Spencer was recognized by his department as the Student of the Year and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. He then graduated from the Washington and Lee law school with honors.
Following law school, Cox served as a law clerk to Federal District Judge Ted Stewart before practicing law at the Salt Lake City firm of Fabian and Clendenin. The Cox’s are the parents of four children and come from Sanpete County families. He is also fluent in Spanish. In his spare time, Cox enjoys running, as well as camping and hiking with his family.
Once confirmed by the Utah State Senate, Cox will replace Lt. Governor Greg Bell, who announced his resignation Sept. 16. Bell has served as Utah’s seventh lieutenant governor since 2009.