The list of possible candidates for Utah Governor is one fewer. Businessman Spence Eccles has decided against jumping in the race next year.
Eccles has told friends and family that he was seriously considering a run in 2020, but has opted not to jump into the race. In declining to run, Eccles is citing business and family responsibilities that make this a difficult time to seek full-time elected office. He has said he wants to stay involved in public policy and promote initiatives that are important to Utah’s future.
The gubernatorial race for 2020 was scrambled last week when former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman officially announced his bid to return to the office he resigned in 2009 in order to become the Ambassador to China under President Barack Obama. After that posting, he became Ambassador to Russia in the Trump administration.
So far, including Huntsman, there are four official candidates in the race for governor next year. Current Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox was the first to join the fray earlier this year. He was followed by businessman Jeff Burningham and Salt Lake County Councilmember Aimee Winder Newton. All of them are running as Republicans. Former House Speaker Greg Hughes is expected to announce his entry into the race sometime soon.
Other Republicans considering a run next year include retiring Rep. Rob Bishop, Attorney General Sean Reyes and former Utah GOP chairman Thomas Wright.