A useless trivia investigation: What makes Utah's new governor unique?

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 19:41:15-05

Don't take this article wrong — there are a lot of good ways Gov. Spencer Cox stands out.

But when it comes to the categories you might use for a round of trivia, it's not quite as obvious how Utah's 18th governor is unique.

WATCH: Spencer Cox, Deidre Henderson take the oath of office

He's a man. One of 17. Only Olene Walker broke that streak, and she held the office for 13 months after stepping in for Mike Leavitt. Polls suggested she would have won a full term easily, but the Republican State Convention of 2004 didn't give her the chance to try.

He's a Latter-day Saint. One of 15. Simon Bamberger was Jewish, George Dern was a Congregationalist, and J. Bracken Lee was determinedly unaffiliated.

Cox is young — 45. But that's actually the sixth youngest. Heber Wells was 36 when he became Utah's first governor. And more recently, Mike Leavitt took the oath at 41 and Jon Huntsman Jr. was 44.

One thing about Utah: we haven't elected a lot of lawyers to the top job. Strange in American politics.

Still, three lawyers got the job before Spencer Cox: Scott Matheson, Cal Rampton, and Herbert Maw.

Now, if something about that list strikes you, congrats, because it took me a long time to realize this Cox uniqueness:

Matheson, Rampton and Maw were all Democrats.

There you go: Spencer Cox is the first Republican lawyer to serve as governor of the great state of Utah!

You probably won't see it on lawn signs, but if you happen to get Utah Governors as your trivia category: you're welcome!