Utah governor calls naming a road after Trump ‘premature’

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Gary Herbert said he isn’t sure a road across southern Utah should be renamed after President Trump.

“It’s a little premature, it seems like to me, from the standpoint of doing it,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

The governor said typically, Utah has waited until years after someone has left office or passed away to honor them. He referenced the Bangerter Highway after former Utah Gov. Norm Bangerter, and the Jim Hansen Highway after the former congressman.

“I realize the zeal and enthusiasm some have,” the governor said, but suggested it might be good to wait.

The bill, introduced last week in the Utah State Legislature and approved by a House committee, would rename the Utah National Parks Highway that passes through southern Utah as the “Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway.” But it’s has hit a few roadblocks lately. Kanab Rep. Mike Noel’s bill was pulled abruptly on Tuesday morning from the list of House bills to be read and voted on.

Democrats are itching to hijack it. Rep. Sue Duckworth, D-Magna, has filed a substitution to rename the road the “Jon M. Huntsman Sr. Utah National Parks Highway” and Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, has threatened to add the “Stormy Daniels Onramp” to it if it makes it to the Senate.

Senate GOP leaders were also unsure how the bill would fare.

“The road no nowhere?” joked Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis.

Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser questioned why the road needed to be so big.