Rob Bishop 01

Rep. Rob Bishop, long rumored to be mulling a bid for Utah governor, says he won't decide what his future holds until the fall, but won't make any sort of announcement until early next year.

In an interview with E&E News, Bishop took a thinly veiled swipe at current Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who announced his 2020 candidacy for governor in May.

"I don't think anybody should be running for anything before January," the Republican, who is retiring from Congress at the end of next year, told E&E News last week. "I find it offensive people running so long for offices."

 

He added: "I'm not going to say anything until January because I have a job."

Bishop says he is "having conversations" with people about running, but he is also encouraging others to run as well.

Bishop added he would likely focus on education issues if he were to run next year.

"I've been thinking about the styles [of governors] that I've worked with," said Bishop, adding he views himself in the mold of Norm Bangerter, the late Republican who served as governor from 1985 to 1993.

 

Bangerter made improving the state's education system a priority, raising taxes at one point to help pay for school resources. He also built $60 million worth of pumps in the state's West Desert to deal with flooding from the Great Salt Lake. Like Bishop, he served in state Legislature for years, including as speaker.

 

"I would really like to coordinate with the Legislature more than has happened since I left," Bishop said.

 

"I would want to sit down with the leadership to make sure there's not a legislative approach and an executive approach, but we would coordinate so we have a Republican approach," he said, adding he'd be more "hands-on" than some previous governors.

 

Still, Bishop said he would "have to talk myself into running for governor" in part because he's a "horrible" candidate.

So far, the only declared candidates are Cox and Provo businessman Jeff Burningham. Others considering a run include former Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton and businessmen Greg Miller and Spence Eccles.