Senator Mike Lee honored retiring Governor Gary Herbert from the floor of the U.S. Senate. Governor Herbert “has served the state of Utah with enthusiasm, dedication and spirit, and I am grateful to have worked alongside him throughout his tenure,” he said.
He noted with humor that Governor Herbert is a skilled pingpong player. One of his first memories of Herbert was when they began to move into the governor’s office suite>, Herbert was Lt. Governor and Lee was Jon Huntsman’s general counsel. “The day before he was sworn in,” Lee said, “Gary came and gave a warm welcome to all the staff, along with sound advice about the importance of staying grounded as we entered the political fray….Right after he and Gov. Huntsman were sworn in, the staff got together as a team several times at the governor’s mansion, where there was a pingpong table in the basement.”
“I then learned the hard way that Gary’s table-tennis skills are off the charts.”
He spoke kindly of Governor Herbert’s work ethic and willingness to serve, noting that “whenever Gov. Huntsman’s schedule became chaotic or would change unexpectedly, Lt. Gov. Herbert would routinely be dispatched to speak on his behalf — often to remote corners of the state and often at inconvenient times.”
He never once complained and was not only willing, but always eager and happy to help. Herbert had the skill of figuring out the best path forward for all parties involved and for making everyone feel heard and understood, said Lee. “The same traits I saw in him as lieutenant governor would go on to make him an effective and beloved governor himself. In office since 2009, he is currently the nation’s longest-serving governor.”
“In a myriad of ways, Gov. Gary Herbert has been a champion and a spokesman for all that is good about our state,” Lee concluded. “It has been an honor to serve the people of Utah with him.”