Cox: Conservative Values Underline Importance Of Accepting Election Results

Jan 5, 2021, 10:23 PM | Updated: 11:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s new governor does not agree with a growing number of Republicans who plan to raise challenges to the presidential electoral votes.

On Jan. 6, Congress will meet to count and confirm the results certified by each state. Historically, it’s a largely ignored procedural step in presidential politics.

In recent years, it has become common for members of the House from the losing party to put up a symbolic fight. But this year is unusual in the number of lawmakers in both the House and Senate who plan to raise challenges to the vote tallies in several states. Two members of Utah’s congressional delegation will join over 100 of their Republican colleagues to object to the certification: Republican Reps. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens.

“It doesn’t make sense what Congress is doing right now,” said Spencer Cox, the day after being sworn in as the 18th governor of Utah. “I think there’s a clear misreading of what the role of Congress is on this.

Gov. Spencer Cox talks with KSL’s Mike Headrick. (KSL-TV)

“I know there are all kinds of allegations about election fraud. But we have a process for going through those allegations and verifying if they happen, or if they didn’t happen. We’ve been through that process.

“I’m a Republican, and I’ve supported the Republican cause. And sometimes we lose,” he said.

“We have to accept the will of the people at some point. That’s a very conservative thing to do, right? Conservatism says we believe in law and order,” Cox added. “We believe in the Constitution, as it is written and as it was drafted, we believe in the rule of law, and we believe in going through that process. And that happened, and the president lost and so now it’s time to turn the page.”

Cox understands those processes well, having overseen Utah’s elections during his eight years as lieutenant governor. He said Utah audits every election.

“We randomly choose different precincts and districts … we audit (voting) machines, we audit the tabulators. We go through and hand count ballots and match them up with the numbers that come up,” Cox said. “That’s the type of thing that we should be doing.”

“I know the other elected officials in other states who run their state elections. Georgia has been at the forefront of this. I know the governor of Georgia, in fact, he was a former secretary of state, he ran elections in the state of Georgia, a big Trump supporter, very much a conservative Republican. And the current secretary of state who is also a Republican, and they have done everything by the book, by the letter of the law, the way it’s supposed to be done,” said Cox.

“If you’re a conservative, and you believe in local control, and you believe in states’ rights, then you have to believe in those things. Even if you disagree with the outcome.”

Clearly, not everyone in the Republican party agrees with him. So how does Utah’s new governor view the growing fractures in his political party?

“There is certainly a divide in the Republican Party. I’ll point out there’s a divide in the Democratic Party as well,” he said, adding those differences are nothing new.

“This is something that has happened throughout history. I’m much more concerned about the broader divide, the contempt that we’re seeing in our country,” he said. “I think our party has to be better. On that point, we should be a party of unity, we should be a party of trying to bring people together. Politics is supposed to be about convincing people. And you don’t convince people through hate.”

Cox has a clear vision of what he wants the future of the GOP to look like.

“If we really want to win future elections at a national level, instead of tearing people down, we should be trying to convince them that what we’re doing is good for America, that it’s good for the people here,” he said. “Again, that’s the conservatism that I grew up in. That’s the Republican party that I believe in. And that’s the Republican party that I’m going to continue to fight for.”

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Cox: Conservative Values Underline Importance Of Accepting Election Results