SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox cannot celebrate his victory in the Republican gubernatorial election for long.
He is tasked with bringing the party together after a contentious race while preparing for the general election in November.
“It was a slog for all of us, and we are so grateful for their support as we now unify the party and bring Republicans across the state together to prepare for November,” said Cox.
At the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Cox tanked his grassroots campaign and supporters for the narrow win against Jon Huntsman. He said voters proved critics wrong, who said he couldn’t win the nomination.
“Now the experts say we are going to win easily in November, and I don’t trust the experts there either. We are going to work very, very hard,” said Cox.
While Utah hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 1985, University of Utah business law Professor Chris Peterson believes voters are unhappy with Republican state leadership.
Peterson pointed to a successful referendum campaign to overturn the state’s unpopular tax reform laws earlier this year.
“Many voters are going to give me a chance, and there is a great opportunity for us to make a difference in this state,” said Peterson, the Democratic candidate for governor.
Each candidate plans to focus a campaign on the COVID-19 heath crisis and economic recovery, while both vowing to run positive campaigns.
“We do have some sharp disagreements on policy, and I am going to be polite but firm in pointing them out," Peterson said. "But I do think he is a good guy. It’s going to be a battle, and we are going to do it like gentlemen, and I think it will be a positive thing for the state of Utah."