Gov. Herbert On His 11 Years in Office: ‘I Look Back With Gratitude’

Dec 21, 2020, 7:20 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2020, 12:54 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After three decades in public office, Utah Governor Gary Herbert said he is looking forward to his next chapter when he leaves office in January and that the state’s diversified economy is one of his proudest legacies.

“It’s been a long run,” Herbert said in an interview with KSL-TV. “There’s not been a day that I haven’t looked forward to going to work.”

Herbert served as a commissioner in Utah County for 14 years, as lieutenant governor for more than four years, and now governor for 11.5 years.

“It’s really been an all-hands-on-deck effort,” Herbert said. “We’ve taken every challenge and every obstacle in our pathway and made things better.”

Herbert took office in 2009 during the struggles of the Great Recession. He hopes to be remembered for the economic opportunities created during his tenure.

“Probably the thing that I’m most proud of is that we are now the most diverse economy in America,” he said.

He never imagined that during his final year as governor there’d be a global pandemic and economic downturn.

“It’s been a hard thing,” Herbert said. “It’s been the hardest year of my life — certainly as a politician.”

Herbert said the future looks hopeful in the state’s fight against COVID-19, especially with the arrival of a vaccine.

“I hope that by the spring of this year they’ll be enough supply of the vaccine that anybody who wants to get an inoculation can get one,” Herbert said. “I think that will happen around April.”

Herbert said he was surrounded by an incredible team as governor and that the private sector and education system contributed to Utah’s success.

“We’ve accomplished a lot,” Herbert said. “Made a few mistakes along the way — please forgive me for those mistakes.”

As he leaves office, Herbert said he has the greatest admiration for the people of Utah.

“I look back with gratitude for what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Herbert said. “We did our best. We gave it 100%.”

Governor-elect Spencer Cox will be sworn in on Inauguration Day on Jan. 4.

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Gov. Herbert On His 11 Years in Office: ‘I Look Back With Gratitude’