Policymaker Profile: Getting to know Phil Lyman

Utah Policy regularly profiles policymakers from across the state. In this edition we profile Rep. Phil Lyman, Republican, District 73.

What is your occupation? CPA/Business development.

What is your educational background? Accounting – BYU; Masters in Taxation – U of U.

Where did you grow up? Blanding.

Can you describe a fond memory? Being on stage with President Trump when he reversed the ridiculous Bears Ears Monument Executive Order. And that time Mike Noel used the term “rock lickers.”

What was your childhood ambition? In a sixth grade letter to myself I committed to play in the NFL or, as a backup, to be a CPA.

What is the makeup of your family? I have a smoking hot wife, five amazing kids,  five amazing kids in-law, and (by December 2020) 12 of the cutest grandkids on the planet, IMHO.

Why politics? After observing gross injustices by government and virtual silence from elected leaders, I felt compelled to step into the ring. I have found it easier to engage than to disengage.

Describe your perfect day: April 25, because it’s not too hot and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket. And any day surrounded with family is a perfect day.

What are your hobbies? I like construction and working on equipment.

What was your first job? Mowing lawns. My first W2 came from working at a gas station. I worked at the local Texaco station through high school. Best boss and mentor (Bruce Black) a person could ever have.

What are your current motivations: Building the kingdom of God on Earth. Seeing my kids do good things, and being free to do so.

What lessons were taught to you by your mother? Don’t swear; finish what you start; don’t back down to bullies.

Hottest issues I’m watching: The national deficit. Utah’s slow shift toward bona fide statehood — It’s time!!

What is the biggest challenge in public life: Time management. It is vital to prioritize and there are too many important issues to do them all justice.

What is your biggest accomplishment? Strong, determined, kind children. (Of course, that is their mother’s accomplishment, but I kind of helped.)

What time does your alarm clock go off? My internal alarm clock goes off at 3:30 a.m. whether I set it or not. I don’t usually set any other physical alarm.

What is your proudest moment? Seeing my seven-year-old stand up for his little brother.

What is your philosophy of government: The purpose of government is to preserve liberty.

Why my political party? Politics is no party.

What songs are on your favorite playlist? Talking Heads, “This Must be the Place”; Moon Rocks, “Pull up the Roots,” etc.; Glenn Miller, ‘In the Mood,” and any other big band classics. Tabernacle Choir & Mack Wilberg, “Come Thou Fount.”

What is your personal motto? Don’t equivocate.

What is your most embarrassing moment? So, so many. It is all a blur.

Who is your inspiration? My dad.

What is your favorite retreat? My home.

What is your favorite book? Hamlet (Shakespeare — I know it’s a play, but…). The combined essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson; Crime & Punishment (Dostoevsky); The Book of Mormon.

What is your indulgence or guilty pleasure? Binge watching Yellowstone.

Who do you consider a mentor? Bill Redd, Kevin Stratton, Mike Noel.

Who do you admire most in the world? Jesus Christ

A small insight into my psych: I am uneasy if people agree with me.

My farewell message to the world: Don’t lose hope.

My district is cool because: It is the biggest district and takes in almost all of Southern Utah. The best canyons, Lake Powell, and salt-of-the-earth people.

I like serving in the Legislature because: Great people, lots of challenges and opportunities.

Running for political office is: Unpleasant, but necessary if you want to serve in that way.

A historical figure I would like to take to lunch: Joan of Arc.

Who is your favorite sports team? Utah Jazz.

What is/was your favorite pet? I don’t like cats, but I loved our cat Oliver.

I always laugh at: Darin Bushman’s dad jokes.

My desk is: Always cluttered.

The biggest issues ahead in the 2021 session? Rural vs Urban: Overcoming the myopia of the power brokers on the Wasatch Front.

My priorities for the 2021 session? Preserving autonomy of our counties, cities, and families.

Anything else you’d like to share: Despite all efforts to convince people otherwise, there is actually a county road in the bottom of Recapture Canyon. No amount of prosecutions will change that fact. As Elvis said: “Truth is like the sun, you can block it out, but it ain’t goin’ away.”