Note: UtahPolicy.com invited a number of Utah leaders to express their feelings about the leadership of Gov. Gary Herbert, who leaves office on Jan. 4 after more than 11 years as governor. Following are some initial responses.
Thomas Wright, former state GOP chair, businessman and former gubernatorial candidate: Governor, thank you for your tireless efforts to make Utah the brightest star on the flag. Your leadership has positioned Utah well for years to come. During your time as governor, you treated people with respect and also sought to understand different points of view. It was an honor to serve as Salt Lake County and Utah Republican Party chair during your time as governor. Serving Utah together, I saw firsthand how much you cared about all Utahns. I will cherish the memories of conventions, Lincoln Day dinners and milkshakes. May God bless you and Jeannette for your public service.
Theresa Foxley, president & CEO of Economic Development Corporation of Utah: Governor Herbert will be remembered for cleaving to an economic development vision that has taken the Beehive State onto a higher plane – those outcomes stand alone as a remarkable legacy. In addition to the outcomes of his administration, he’ll be remembered for the style in which he executed on this vision: Governor Herbert has been inclusive, collaborative, and has worked tirelessly throughout his 11+ years in office.
Todd Weiler, state senator: Gary Herbert led the state through its most prosperous decade. Under his leadership, Utah led the nation in economic growth. He oversaw the growth of Silicon Slopes, the relocation of the prison, and the birth of the Inland Port. Perhaps most importantly, he was likable and relatable and made people feel good about living in Utah.
Rick B. Larsen, president & CEO, Sutherland Institute: In his final speech, Sutherland Institute founder Gaylord Swim said, “Those who, for whatever reason, choose not to run for public office, ought to be grateful to those who will. After all, governing in a free society ought not to be about winning or ruling, rather it is about leading, serving, uniting and about achieving the best solutions under a framework of law. This process requires strong advocates, certainly, but it also takes a counter-balancing sense of humility, civility and dialogue.” I submit that Governor Hebert’s legacy will include a recognition that he indeed led, served, sought to unite and to achieve the best solutions. And he did so with a counter-balancing sense of humility, civility and dialogue.