Rep. Gage Froerer – Best Beard on the Hill for 2015

Congratulations Rep. Gage Froerer – all other accomplishments he may have this 2015 Legislature have paled under this amazing result: He wins the UtahPolicy legislative beard contest.

Yes, the counting is done (almost) and Froerer, R-Huntsville, tallied 23 percent of the vote from among the eight male lawmakers who UtahPolicy found – through good old investigative reporting – had facial hair this general session.

The unofficial totals:

  • Froerer – 23 percent.
  • Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, 16 percent.
  • Rep. Curt Webb, R-Logan, 15 percent.
  • Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, 15 percent.
  • Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, 10 percent.
  • Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, 8 percent.
  • Rep. Scott Chew, R-Jensen, 7 percent.
  • Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake, 4 percent.

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, refused to let UtahPolicy take a picture of him and his (we thought) rather good-looking goatee – white as it may be.

Thus, by default, Stephenson wins the Grumpy Legislator Award.

Froerer gives credit to his wonderful win to his intern, Jessica, whom, the representative reports, “worked the hallways, rounding up votes for me.”

More than 500 UtahPolicy readers participated the voting – and anyone could vote more than once. (Did Jessica know this?)

“I am honored to win this prestigious award,” said Froerer, who was heard to yelp out a loud “Hooooot!” upon being told of his victory.

“It was a very tough competition; all (the bearded lawmakers) are worthy of this,” said Froerer, who did not tear up during his acceptance speech.

Actually, says Froerer, for most of his adult life he has had a beard of one form or another.

But when he decided to run for the Legislature for the first time in 2006 he was told he would have a better chance if he was clean shaven.

“Recently, I decided not to pay attention to that advice any more. And I still won” in his 2014 re-election with his now-award-winning beard.

He added: “Thank you, thank you, Jessica for securing this award for me.”

Unfortunately due to tight financial times in the news business, UtahPolicy could not afford any kind of trophy, cash award or other physical acknowledgement of Froerer’s achievement – not even a letter suitable for framing.

Still, isn’t such worthy work payment itself?