Gov. Herbert talks pioneers, partnerships for third inauguration

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 19:53:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Gov. Gary Herbert kept things positive as he stood in the Capitol Rotunda and was sworn in for the third time.

The governor, who won an easy reelection victory over Democrat Mike Weinholtz, talked about cooperation and Utahn's "goodness" and "pioneer spirit."

"Humility, hard work and mutual support have always been at the heart of the Utah spirit," Herbert said during his remarks. "We often talk about them in relation to the Mormon pioneers, but those qualities have been essential to each of the subsequent waves of pioneers who now call Utah home."

The governor related the pioneer spirit with modern immigrants and refugees, not making a direct reference to the national debate over illegal immigration, but seeming to intentionally focus on the positive impact of immigrants on Utah's economy and culture.

In another oblique tip of the hat to hot political issues, Herbert also talked about working together with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to keep Utah's National Parks open during the 2013 federal government shutdown.

"We immediately reached out to the Interior Secretary, and I still remember vividly our first conversation," Herbert said. "She agreed that it would be best for the parks to reopen but that nothing could be done.

My response was, 'rather than talk about what we can’t do, let’s talk about what we can do.' And within 72 hours from that call, with the support of local communities and legislative leadership, the parks reopened and the tourists returned."

During this portion of the speech, the governor did not refer to the current bitter dispute over the creation of Bears Ears National Monument, which Jewell spearheaded for the Obama administration.