Gary Herbert is the incumbent Governor of Utah who took office on August 11, 2009. He succeeded Jon Huntsman as Utah Governor alongside Lieutenant Governor Greg Ball. Previously, Herbert was Chair of the National Governors’ Association (2015 – 2016) and Lieutenant Governor of Utah (2005 – 2009).
Early Life and Education
Gary Herbert was born on May 7, 1947. Raised in Orem, Utah by father Paul Richard and mother Carol, Herbert went to Orem High School. Completing the high school education, Herbert joined Brigham Young University. Unfortunately, he had to drop out of college.
Gary Herbert is married to Jeanette Snelson with six children. The children have grown up to give the family sixteen grandchildren.
Prior to entering the US politics, Gary Herbert served in the US Army under the unit Utah Army National Guard. He climbed up to the position of staff sergeant and left.
Leaving the military career, Herbert founded his own firm called Herbert and Associates Realtors which majorly dealt on real estate development. At the same time, Herbert’s wife Jannette worked at The Kids Connection, a facility which provided care services.
Besides business, Gary Herbert also focused on politics. In 1990, he became a commissioner in Utah County Commission and served until 2004. During this 14-year long time, Herbert served in various committee assignments and numerous projects and associations. Gaining respectable fame in Utah as a politician, Herbert decided to run for Lieutenant Governor of Utah in 2004 election. Gaining the Republican nomination, Herbert won the general election and assumed office as Lieutenant Governor alongside Governor Jon Huntsman on January 3, 2005.
The Huntsman-Herbert pair bade for a second term in Governor’s office in 2008 election. Winning the plurality votes, the team gained the Republican nomination and went on to receive 77% votes in the general election. Unfortunately, Huntsman had to leave his post to become US Ambassador to China. As a result, Herbert succeeded Huntsman as Governor of Utah. In 2010, Special Gubernatorial Election was held whereby Republican Gary Herbert had a clear victory with 64.1% votes against Democrat opponent Peter Corroon’s 31.9% votes.
In 2012, Gary Herbert again stood to face Democrat Peter Cooke for a full four-year term in Governor’s office. He won the election with 68.41% votes. As the four-year term ended in 2016, Herbert sought for another term and gained the Republican support with 71.75% votes. In the general election held on November 8, 2016, he defeated Democrat opponent Mike Weinholtz with a 66.7% to 28.7% margin. Now, Herbert has four more years at the office.
As Governor, Gary Herbert was crucial in solving the 2008 credit crunch. His economic policies of tax reduction, an increment in private capital investment and affordable government spending led to a quick economic recovery in Utah. Likewise, in 2015, he proposed a prohibition on any discriminatory acts against LGBT community. On the darker side, in 2012, he passed a bill which would restrict sex education from schools.
As of 2011, he signed a very controversial bill titled House Bill 477. As per its terms, the Utah citizens would be hugely restricted from accessing public records. Although the law was uprooted, it tarnished Herbert’s Governorship legacy. Likewise, in 2012, Herbert passed House Bill 187 which restricted photography or videography in agricultural production sites.
Donald Trump and Gary Herbert
US President Donald Trump and Governor Gary Herbert might not get along well, given that Governor Herbert has repeatedly criticized and belittled him. Herbert compared Trump to a first-day-at-job plumber who is inexperienced and inept at his job. Likewise, Herbert also condemned Trump’s refugee order by saying that Utah has always been a refugee-friendly place.