List of Governors of Utah

Last updated on 12 May 2017

The Governor of Utah is the head of the executive branch of Utah's state government[2] and the commander-in-chief of its military forces.[3] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws[2] as well as the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Utah Legislature.[4] The governor may also convene the legislature on "extraordinary occasions".[5]

The self-proclaimed State of Deseret, precursor to the organization of the Utah Territory, had only one governor, Brigham Young. Utah Territory had 15 territorial governors from its organization in 1850 until the formation of the state of Utah in 1896, appointed by the President of the United States. John W. Dawson had the shortest term of only three weeks and Brigham Young, the first territorial governor, had the longest term at seven years.

There have been 17 governors of the State of Utah, with the longest serving being Calvin L. Rampton, who served three terms from 1965 to 1977. Olene Walker served the shortest term, the remaining 14 months of Mike Leavitt's term upon Leavitt's resignation to become head of the Environmental Protection Agency. At the age of 36, Heber Manning Wells was the youngest person to become governor. At the age of 70, Simon Bamberger became the oldest person to be elected, while Olene Walker, at age 72, was the oldest person to succeed to the office.

The current governor is Gary Herbert, who took office on August 11, 2009, upon the resignation of Jon Huntsman, Jr., to become United States Ambassador to China. Governor Herbert was elected to fill the remainder of Huntsman's term in November 2010, and was later re-elected to serve another term beginning in January of 2017.

There is an official seal of the Governor of Utah. Borrowing most of the same symbolism from the State Seal, the Governor's seal includes Roman numerals at the bottom, which represent the Governor himself, and this changes with every new Governor. Each Governor therefore has a seal unique to themselves and their administration. The Roman numerals are currently "XVII", representing Gary Herbert, who is the 17th governor of Utah since Statehood.

Seal of the Governor of Utah (2011).svg
Seal of the Governor of Utah (2011).svg
2013-05-23 Gary R Herbert.JPG
2013-05-23 Gary R Herbert.JPG

Governors

The area that became Utah was part of the Mexican Cession obtained by the United States on May 19, 1848, in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the Mexican-American War.[6]

State of Deseret

A constitutional convention was convened in Salt Lake City on March 8, 1849, to work on a proposal for federal recognition of a state or territory. The convention resulted in the provisional State of Deseret. Deseret claimed most of present-day Utah, Nevada and Arizona, with parts of California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming. Brigham Young was elected governor on March 12, 1849, and the legislature first met on July 2, 1849.[7][8] The state, having never been recognized by the federal government, was formally dissolved on April 5, 1851,[9] several months after word of the creation of Utah Territory reached Salt Lake City.

Governors of the Territory of Utah

On September 9, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850, Utah Territory was organized, encompassing roughly the northern half of Deseret.[10] The news did not reach Salt Lake City until January 1851.[11] Governors of the Utah Territory were appointed by the president of the United States, and other than Brigham Young, they were frequently considered carpetbagger patronage appointees.[12]

The territory initially consisted of present-day Utah, most of Nevada, and portions of Colorado and Wyoming. On February 28, 1861, the creation of Colorado Territory took land from the eastern side of Utah Territory. Nevada Territory was organized from the western section of Utah Territory on March 2, 1861.[13] Also on that date, Nebraska Territory gained area from the northeastern part of Utah Territory. Nevada Territory gained area from Utah Territory on July 14, 1862, and again on May 5, 1866, after becoming a state. Wyoming Territory was created on July 25, 1868, from Nebraska Territory, taking more area from the northeast corner, giving Utah Territory its final borders.

BYoung.jpg
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century man, sitting.
Alfred Cumming.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
John W Dawson.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Stephen Selwyn Harding.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
James Duane Doty.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Charles Durkee portrait.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
John Wilson Shaffer.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Vernon H Vaughan.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
George Lemuel Woods portrait.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a mid-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Samuel Beach Axtell.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a late-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
George W Emery.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a late-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Eli Houston Murray.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a late-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Caleb Walton West.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a late-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Arthur Lloyd Thomas.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a late-nineteenth-century man in a suit.
Caleb Walton West.jpg
Upper-body portrait of a late-nineteenth-century man in a suit.

Governors of the State of Utah

The State of Utah was admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896.

The governor has a four-year term, commencing on the first Monday of the January after an election.[46] The Constitution of Utah originally stated that, should the office of governor be vacant, the power be devolved upon the Secretary of State,[47] but the office of Lieutenant Governor was created in 1976,[48] and a 1980 constitutional amendment added it to the constitution.[49] If the office of governor becomes vacant during the first year of the term, the lieutenant governor becomes governor until the next general election; if it becomes vacant after the first year of the term, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term.[50] The offices of governor and lieutenant governor are elected on the same ticket.[51] The Governor of Utah was formerly limited to serving three terms, but all term limit laws were repealed by the Utah Legislature in 2003; Utah is one of the few states where gubernatorial term limits are not determined by the constitution.[52]

Heber M. Wells.jpg
Heber M. Wells.jpg
John Christopher Cutler.jpg
John Christopher Cutler.jpg
William Spry.jpg
William Spry.jpg
Simon Bamberger.jpg
Simon Bamberger.jpg
CharlesRMabey.jpg
CharlesRMabey.jpg
George H Dern.jpg
George H Dern.jpg
Henry H. Blood.jpg
Henry H. Blood.jpg
Herbert B. Maw.jpg
Herbert B. Maw.jpg
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Scott Matheson speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the USS Salt Lake City, May 12, 1984.JPEG
Scott Matheson speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the USS Salt Lake City, May 12, 1984.JPEG
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Mike Leavitt.jpg
Mike Leavitt.jpg
Olene Walker.JPG
Olene Walker.JPG
Ambassador Jon Huntsman.jpg
Ambassador Jon Huntsman.jpg
2013-05-23 Gary R Herbert.JPG
2013-05-23 Gary R Herbert.JPG

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
Governor Gubernatorial term Other offices held Source
James Duane Doty 1863–1865 Delegate from Wisconsin Territory, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin,
Governor of Wisconsin Territory
[53]
Charles Durkee 1865–1869 U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Wisconsin [54]
George Lemuel Woods 1871–1875 Governor of Oregon [55]
Samuel Beach Axtell 1875 U.S. Representative from California, Governor of New Mexico Territory* [38]
George Dern 1925–1933 U.S. Secretary of War [56]
Mike Leavitt 1993–2003 Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency*,
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
[57]
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 2005–2009 Ambassador to Singapore, Ambassador to China* [58]

Living former U.S. governors of Utah

As of January 2017 there are two former U.S. governors of Utah who are currently living at this time, the oldest U.S. governor of Utah being Mike Leavitt (1993–2003, born 1951). The most recent death of a former U.S. governor of Utah was that of Olene Walker (2003–2005), who died on November 28, 2015.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Mike Leavitt 1993–2003 (1951-02-11) February 11, 1951 (age 66)
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 2005–2009 (1960-03-26) March 26, 1960 (age 57)

Notes

  1. ^ Due to the long distance between Washington and Salt Lake City, and the slow speed of communications and travel of the day, weeks or months could go by between the appointment of a governor and the governor actually taking office. The actual dates governors took office are sometimes vague; the ones in this list are cited mostly with contemporary news coverage, but other resources and almanacs give slightly different dates.[14]
  2. ^ Alfred Cumming was appointed governor in April 1857,[16] but due to the Utah War did not take office for a year. In September 1857, he departed from Kansas along with a detachment of the U.S. Army.[17] He wintered at Fort Bridger[18] and entered Salt Lake City on April 12,[19] whereupon he was recognized as governor of the territory.
  3. ^ Resigned early as he felt he would not be reappointed[21]
  4. ^ Resigned after three weeks in office; combative feelings existed between the governor and the state's Mormon population.[23]
  5. ^ a b Died in office
  6. ^ Vaughan was Secretary of the Territory at the time of Shaffer's death, and so acted as governor until word of his own appointment arrived several days later. His appointment was to be only temporary until President Grant could determine a suitable successor.[32]
  7. ^ Resigned to become the Governor of New Mexico Territory.[38]
  8. ^ Each term for which a governor is elected is listed here; if multiple governors served in a single term, due to resignations, deaths, and the like, then that term will be shared among those governors. If a governor was elected multiple times, then there will be multiple terms listed for that governor.
  9. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in 1976.[48] Lieutenant governors were elected separately from the governor until 1980; those that represented a different party from their governor are noted.
  10. ^ Represented the Republican Party
  11. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term

References

General
  • Groesbeck, Kathryn D. & Luke, Theron H., List and Newspaper Clippings; MSS 658; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
Constitution
Specific
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b UT Const. art. VII, § 5
  3. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 4
  4. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 8
  5. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 6
  6. ^ "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo". Library of Congress. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  7. ^ McClintock, James H. (1921). Mormon settlement in Arizona. Phoenix: State of Arizona. p. 52. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1892). History of Utah. Salt Lake City: George Q Cannon and Sons. pp. 393–395. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  9. ^ Powell, Allen Kent (1994). Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. p. 139.
  10. ^ "Thirty-First Congress. Session I Chapter LI.". Compromise of 1850. Library of Congress. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  11. ^ Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1892). History of Utah. Salt Lake City: George Q Cannon and Sons. pp. 451–452. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  12. ^ Murphy, Miriam B. (1994), "Territorial Governors", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917
  13. ^ Davis, Sam P., ed. (1912). The History of Nevada. Reno: Elms Publishers. p. 192. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  14. ^ Sloan, Robert W. (1884). Utah Gazetteer and Directory of Logan, Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake Cities for 1884. pp. 254–255. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  15. ^ "Utah's new capitol grows from humble beginning; first political sessions were held in council house; fight for statehood". Salt Lake Telegram. October 22, 1916. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  16. ^ Bancroft p. 526
  17. ^ Whitney p. 610
  18. ^ Whitney p. 655
  19. ^ Whitney p. 673
  20. ^ "Affairs in Utah". The New York Times. June 17, 1861. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  21. ^ "Alfred Cumming". Utah History to go. State of Utah. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  22. ^ "Affairs in Utah". The New York Times. December 28, 1861. Retrieved May 18, 2010. GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Saturday, Dec. 7, 1861. ... Gov. DAWSON and Superintendent DOTY arrived by the mail-stage to-day.
  23. ^ a b "Third Governor was run out of Utah after 3 weeks". Salt Lake Tribune. December 30, 2001. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  24. ^ McGinnis, Ralph Y.; Calvin N. Smith (1994). Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-8304-1247-1.
  25. ^ Bancroft p. 621
  26. ^ "Know Utah". Salt Lake Telegram. June 16, 1927. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  27. ^ Bancroft p. 622
  28. ^ "Home items". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. October 12, 1865. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  29. ^ "As I remember". Salt Lake Telegram. October 17, 1926. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  30. ^ "Just history". Salt Lake Telegram. October 31, 1923. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  31. ^ "As I remember". Salt Lake Telegram. April 20, 1925. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  32. ^ a b c "As I remember". Salt Lake Telegram. October 25, 1926. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  33. ^ Bancroft p. 661
  34. ^ "Off for California". Salt Lake Tribune. October 13, 1874. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  35. ^ "We don't believe it". Salt Lake Tribune. November 4, 1874. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  36. ^ "Governor Axtell". Salt Lake Tribune. February 3, 1875. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  37. ^ "The new Governor". Salt Lake Tribune. June 9, 1875. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  38. ^ a b "Axtell, Samuel Beach". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  39. ^ Improvement Era, Vol. IV, No. 7. Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association. 1901. p. 562. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  40. ^ Bancroft p. 677
  41. ^ Bancroft pp. 687–688
  42. ^ McMullin, Thomas A.; David Allan Walker (1984). Biographical Directory of American Territorial Governors. Meckler. p. 307. ISBN 978-0-930466-11-4. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  43. ^ "The new Governor". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. May 12, 1886. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  44. ^ a b "The record". The Deseret Weekly. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 45. 1892. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  45. ^ a b "The Governor goes, the Governor comes". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. May 9, 1893. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  46. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 1
  47. ^ UT Const. original art. VII, §11
  48. ^ a b "Taxes, funds hot issues for Legislature". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. January 10, 1976. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  49. ^ White, Jean Bickmore (1998). The Utah State Constitution: A Reference Guide. Greenwood Press. p. 98. ISBN 9780313293511. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  50. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 11
  51. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 2
  52. ^ "Utah set to repeal term limits". National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  53. ^ "Doty, James Duane". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  54. ^ "Durkee, Charles". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  55. ^ "Oregon Governor George Lemuel Woods". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  56. ^ "Utah Governor George Henry Dern". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on April 27, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  57. ^ "Utah Governor Michael Okerlund Leavitt". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on February 22, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  58. ^ "Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on February 22, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.

External links

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