POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Leaders Outline Transition Plans For Utah’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor

Nov 5, 2020, 1:59 PM | Updated: 2:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Governor-elect Spencer Cox and his running mate Lt. Governor-elect Diedre Henderson made a special announcement at the Utah Capitol Thursday as they begin transitioning into their new roles.

Gov. Gary Herbert began the special event inside the Gold Room by thanking the people of Utah and pledging his confidence in the new administration.

“I just want to thank the people of Utah for the opportunity I’ve had to be governor these last 11½, before that 4½ years as lieutenant governor,” Herbert said. “It’s been a great run for me and it’s been a great run this last decade for the people of Utah.”

Cox and Henderson will start their new roles Jan. 4.

Herbert said unlike what is often seen on a national level with divisiveness, Utah is different and he has full faith in this new team moving forward. He said he intends to make sure they have a smooth transition to hit the road running.

Cox has served with Herbert the last seven years and calls it an honor of a lifetime.

“I’m grateful for the example he has set, for the things he has taught me, and for this opportunity,” Cox said. “I will have to try, despite my inadequacies, to fill his very large shoes. Governor, thank you so much for your sacrifice and your sacrifice to the State of Utah. Sen. Henderson and I, or shall I say Lt. Governor-elect, are humbled to be here today.”

Henderson also spoke and said their hope is to accomplish three critical things: First, finding the best and brightest to serve along side with them. Second, to take a fresh look at each of Utah’s state government agencies. Third, to provide recommendations related to major policy priorities, like education.

In a statement, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor announced additional volunteers who will be involved with the transition as well as two key staff positions:

Personnel

Cox announced two key staff positions. Jon Pierpont, former executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services, will be appointed into the joint role of chief of staff and chief operating officer beginning in January. Jennifer Napier-Pearce, former executive editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, will be appointed as senior advisor to the governor and director of communications.

“Jon and Jennifer are talented individuals who are dedicated to the ideals Utahns hold dear. They have the experience and judgment needed to lead our team into the future, and to confront head on the challenges we face as a state,” said Cox. “They are the right people for these important leadership roles. I can’t wait for them to get to work for Utah.”

Transition

Cox announced he has been working with a small group of volunteers to coordinate an effective transition process.

Lynne Ward, former deputy chief of staff for former Utah Gov. Olene Walker, and Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, will serve as co-chairs of the transition effort.

Other members include Austin Cox, Natalie Gochnour and Rich McKeown.

Cox and Henderson also announced that they are assembling a team of more than 100 community leaders with broad expertise to review all state government agencies and provide recommendations related to major policy priorities, including education and public health.

Leading and participating in various committee efforts are Pamela Atkinson, Bonnie Jean Beesley, Mark Bouchard, Jeff Burningham, Lisa-Michele Church, Amanda Covington, Sophia DiCaro, Kristen Edwards, Francine Giani, Mia Love, Susan Madsen, Crystal Maggelet, Lavanya Mahate, Steve Neeleman, Val Oveson, Jon Pike, Lester Rojas, Byron Russell, Aimee Winder Newton, Heidi Walker and Thomas Wright. Others will be enlisted over the next several days.

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

Dusk on the last day of the 2024 legislative session at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Frida...

Daniel Woodruff

‘This is a disgrace’: Bitter fight over district attorney’s job performance marks end of Utah legislative session

The Utah legislative session ended on a fiery note as lawmakers approved a bill that critics say unfairly targets an elected official.

2 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a Get Out the Vote Rally March 2 in Richmond, Virginia....

Gregory Krieg, CNN

Trump will win North Dakota GOP caucuses, CNN projects

 Former President Donald Trump will win North Dakota’s Republican presidential caucuses, CNN projects, claiming one final boost before the campaign expands to 15 states on Super Tuesday.

3 hours ago

Utah State GOP Chair Robert Axson expects turnout to be north of 100,000 people statewide for Super...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah Republicans ‘confident’ for caucus night Super Tuesday

Utahns are heading out Tuesday to cast their votes for who they want for President during Super Tuesday. 

5 hours ago

FILE - Utah's 2024 legislative session. (KSL TV)...

Shara Park

Opposition groups call for Gov. Cox to veto employee firearm bill for teachers, school staff

Opponents of HB119 are calling for Utah's Gov. Spencer Cox to veto.

6 hours ago

France became the world’s first country to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution on Monday...

Joshua Berlinger and Xiaofei Xu, CNN

France becomes world’s first country to enshrine abortion rights in constitution

The historic decision is the culmination of an effort that began in direct response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

13 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally...

Mark Sherman

Supreme Court restores Trump to ballot, rejecting state attempts to ban him over Capitol attack

The Supreme Court has restored Donald Trump to 2024 presidential primary ballots, rejecting state attempts to hold the Republican former president accountable for the Capitol riot.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Leaders Outline Transition Plans For Utah’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor