|17th Governor of Utah|
August 11, 2009
|Preceded by||Jon Huntsman|
|Chairman of the National Governors Association|
July 25, 2015
|Preceded by||John Hickenlooper|
|6th Lieutenant Governor of Utah|
January 3, 2005 – August 11, 2009
|Preceded by||Gayle McKeachnie|
|Succeeded by||Greg Bell|
|Born||Gary Richard Peters
May 7, 1947
American Fork, Utah, U.S.
|Alma mater||Brigham Young University (did not graduate)|
|Service/branch||Utah Army National Guard|
Gary Richard Herbert (born May 7, 1947) is an American politician who is the 17th and current Governor of Utah. A member of the Republican Party, Herbert has served as Governor since August 2009. As of July 2015, Herbert serves as chair of the National Governors Association.
Born in American Fork, Utah, Herbert served for two years as an LDS missionary in the eastern United States following his graduation from high school, then attended Brigham Young University and joined the Utah Army National Guard. After serving in the National Guard, Herbert began a career in real estate and opened his own firm. Herbert won a seat on the Utah County Commission in 1990, where he served 14 years. Herbert also served as presidents of the Utah Association of Counties and Utah Association of Realtors.
After initially running for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2004, Herbert teamed up with ambassador and businessman Jon Huntsman as his running mate in the general election. Herbert was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Utah in 2005, serving one term until he assumed the governorship on August 11, 2009, following the resignation of Governor Huntsman, who was appointed to serve as the United States Ambassador to China by President Barack Obama. Herbert was elected to serve out the remainder of the term in a special election in 2010, defeating Democratic nominee Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon with 64% of the vote. He won election to a full four-year term in 2012, defeating Democratic Businessman Peter Cooke with 68% of the vote.
- 1 Early life, education and career
- 2 Political career
- 3 Political positions
- 4 Controversies
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life, education and career
Herbert was born to Paul and Carol Peters in American Fork, later being adopted by his stepfather, Duane Barlow Herbert. Governor Herbert grew up in Orem, Utah. He graduated from Orem High School, served a two-year mission for the LDS Church in the Eastern States Mission and later attended Brigham Young University, but did not graduate.
He is married to Jeanette Snelson Herbert; they have six children and sixteen grandchildren.  Mrs. Herbert was born in Preston, Idaho, and moved with her family as a young child to Springville, Utah. She is Honorary Chair of the Governor's Commission on Literacy.
Herbert served for six years as a member of the Utah Army National Guard, becoming a staff sergeant. Following his time in the National Guard, he set up a real estate firm, Herbert and Associates Realtors. Mrs Herbert ran a child care service, The Kids Connection.
Utah County Commission
Between 1990 and 2004, Herbert served as a commissioner on the Utah County Commission. During his time as a commissioner, Herbert also served as presidents of the Utah Association of Counties and the Utah Association of Realtors.
In November 2003, Herbert began campaigning for the Republican nomination for Governor of Utah. In April 2004, a month before the state convention at which the gubernatorial nominee would be selected, Herbert joined forces with then-rival Jon Huntsman, Jr., becoming the latter's running mate. The Huntsman-Herbert ticket defeated incumbent governor Olene S. Walker at the convention, before going on to win in the November election. Herbert subsequently became Lieutenant Governor.
Lieutenant Governor of Utah
Herbert's central role as lieutenant governor was running the state electoral office and managing the campaign disclosure system. His record on those responsibilities was somewhat mixed, improving standards marginally but seeing the state slip overall on nationwide rankings published by the Campaign Disclosure Project. Moreover, Herbert's office was criticized for failing to enforce campaign disclosure laws more vigorously. In 2007, Herbert oversaw the first statewide voter referendum to take place since the creation of the Lieutenant Governor's post.
During his time as Lieutenant Governor, Herbert also served as the chairman of 13 statewide commissions, including the Commission on Volunteers and the Commission on Civic and Character Education and the Emergency Management Administrative Council.
Huntsman and Herbert faced little opposition during their 2008 campaign for re-election, avoiding a primary election after achieving a plurality of votes at the state Republican Party convention. The Republican ticket was re-elected to office with a record 77 percent of the vote.
Governor of Utah
Herbert became Governor of Utah on August 11, 2009, following the resignation of Governor Jon Huntsman to become Ambassador to China. As the Republican gubernatorial nominee in the 2010 special election, he defeated his Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, by 64% to 32%.
In 2012, Herbert defeated his Democratic opponent, retired Major General Peter Cooke, winning election to a full four-year term by 69% to 28%.
Salt Lake City has passed a non-discrimination ordinance which would protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination in employment and housing. A member of the Utah Legislature has indicated he would seek a statewide law to prevent cities from passing ordinances related to civil rights. As a strong supporter of local control, Herbert has said he believes municipalities should have the right to pass rules and ordinances absent state interference.
On August 27, 2009, Herbert indicated at a news conference that he did not support making sexual orientation a legally protected class, saying: "We don't have to have a rule for everybody to do the right thing. We ought to just do the right thing because it's the right thing to do and we don't have to have a law that punishes us if we don't."
The gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah, which seeks to expand anti-discrimination laws to cover gay people, criticised Herbert's statements and expressed the view that he did not fully comprehend the challenges faced by gay people in Utah.
Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Utah by a US district court ruling on December 20, 2013, Herbert's office issued a statement immediately following the ruling: "I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah. I am working with my legal counsel and the acting Attorney General to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah." Shortly thereafter, the Attorney General's office did indeed request an emergency stay to stop further same-sex marriages from occurring in the state.
After elected officials in Oregon and Pennsylvania chose not to defend same-sex marriage bans from constitutional challenge, Herbert expressed his disappointment by saying, "For elected officials ... to, say, pick and chose which laws they will enforce, I think, is a tragedy and the next step toward anarchy." He disagreed with the comparison between same-sex marriage and interracial marriage, saying, "Clearly the actions involved in sexual activity ultimately end up being choices. What your attraction may be is something else, but how you act upon those impulses is a choice."
On March 12, 2015, Herbert, in a special ceremony, signed into law a bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and housing in the state of Utah, becoming the 19th state to do so.
As of December 1, 2009, the Utah State Governor's website showed that Herbert listed "public and higher education" as one of four "priorities." (The other three listed priorities were "economic development", "energy security" and "infrastructure"). The Governor's site explained that Utah must improve its public education system to remain competitive and to empower its individual citizens to succeed, and the site said that "attracting and retaining the best teachers into our schools" was a way Utah could accomplish educational excellence.
In March 2012, Herbert vetoed a controversial sex education bill, HB363, which would have allowed schools to stop teaching sex education entirely and would have required those that kept the lessons to teach abstinence only. In vetoing it, Herbert said "HB363 simply goes too far by constricting parental options... I cannot sign a bill that deprives parents of their choice".
In February 2010, The Deseret News reported that Herbert's campaign had received a $10,000 donation from Alton Coal Development, a coal company that had complained about delays in regulators issuing a permit for strip-mining. The Associated Press reported that a memorandum they had obtained showed that state regulators later agreed to fast-track a decision regarding the permit, despite environmental concerns from local residents. According to a businessman who lives near the proposed mine, regulators arrived within days of a meeting between Herbert and the coal company, and they felt pressure to make a quick decision. A Utah regulator said that this was not the case and that Herbert did not make any orders about whether to issue a permit. A spokeswoman for Herbert said that he was not aware of the donation, and that given his long-term support of the energy industry, it was not surprising that Alton made a donation.
In September 2010, KSL TV reported another instance of Herbert accepting campaign donations from companies who benefited from state contracts related to the I-15 CORE rebuild in Utah County—the state's biggest ever road project. Three teams vied for the contract. One gave the governor's campaign no money, another gave $35,000. The third team, Provo River Constructors, gave Herbert's campaign much more. Wadsworth Brothers Construction and partners Ames, Ralph Wadsworth and Fluor have contributed more than $80,000. Around the time most of those donations came in Guy Wadsworth got two meetings with the governor, apparently something no other bidding team had. A month later, the state awarded the $1.725 billion contract to Provo River.
KSL TV also reported that Herbert had meetings with, and received donations from Fred Lampropoulos, CEO of Merit Medical, months before the Governor’s Office of Economic Development awarded a tax break to Merit to expand its business in Utah.
Merit gave separate $25,000 checks to the Herbert campaign on November 2, 2009, and January 21, 2010, and Herbert and Lampropoulos met in October 2009. In December 2009, Merit got $4.4 million in tax credits. Lampropoulos has publicly endorsed Herbert and appears in a television commercial supporting Herbert's reelection bid.
UDOT's $13,000,000 payment to second place finisher in highway bidding
On September 13, 2010, Utah Department of Transportation admitted to paying $13,000,000 to prevent a lawsuit by the second-place finisher Flatiron/Skanska/Zachry (FSZ) for the Interstate 15 rebuild project in Utah County. UDOT admitted that after “adjustments” were made to the scoring system, the 1.7 billion dollar contract was awarded to Provo River Constructors (PRC) after winning the bidding process by a single point. UDOT claimed the $13,000,000 payment to FSZ was to avoid any further or pending legal action. Peter Corroon's campaign questioned whether this was related to a $87,500 donation made by PRC to Herbert's campaign. In a press conference on the same day, Herbert denied any knowledge of the $13,000,000 payoff to FSZ. However, on September 21, 2010 ABC4 reported that on September 9 four days before Herbert press conference UDOT informed Jason Perry, the Governor's Chief of Staff of a payment. On September 13, hours before Herbert's press conference, UDOT again informed Perry of a payoff and also specified the amount of the payment.
Governor signs House Bill 477
During the 2011 legislative session, Herbert signed into law House Bill 477 after it passed through the legislature in three days. The bill would have drastically reduced the ability of citizens to access public records, especially records of Legislators. After large public outcry, Herbert announced he would sign the bill yet also call a special session to repeal the new law. The law was repealed two weeks later, and Herbert was criticized for costing the state $30,000 for not simply vetoing the bill when he first had a chance.
Governor signs House Bill 187
On March 20, 2012, Herbert signed into law House Bill 187, dealing with "Agricultural Operation Interference" despite several individuals and organizations urging he veto it. The new law makes it a crime to take pictures or sound recordings while on the property of any agricultural production facility, even if the person is not trespassing (e.g. an employee of said facility) and even if the person is not interfering with anything (i.e. if nobody knows the recording is taking place). Offenders are guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Critics of the bill say that the law creates a safe haven for animal abuse and other criminal activity and that it adds nothing beneficial to legitimate operations. Proponents of the bill state that the purpose of the legislation is to prevent whistleblowers from unfairly damaging farming operations. The Humane Society has many examples of undercover videos that this bill is meant to prevent.
- "Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert". Utah.gov. State of Utah. Archived from the original on 20 August 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- ""Person 2 Person: Governor Gary Herbert"". KUTV 2News Utah. July 2, 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "First Lady Jeanette Herbert". State of Utah.
- "Governor Gary Richard Herbert (UT)". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Huntsman, Herbert join forces". Deseret News (Utah). April 12, 2004. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Gary Herbert's record: Prelude to leadership". Salt Lake Tribune. July 12, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Utah Code, 9-1-803". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Utah Code, 67-1a-10". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Utah Election Results: Governor/Lieutenant Governor". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Herbert takes the oath as Utah governor". Daily Herald (Utah). August 12, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- Kessler, Mori (2012-03-23). "Gov. Herbert signs public lands transfer act". St George News. Retrieved 2014-12-07.
- "Utah to seize own land from government, challenge federal dominance of Western states : ‘Transfer of Public Lands Act’ demands Washington relinquish 31.2 million acres by Dec. 31". Washington Times. 2014-12-03. Retrieved 2014-12-07.
- Winters, Brock A. (August 26, 2009). "Salt Lake nondiscrimination effort under fire". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Gehrke, Robert (August 28, 2009). "Herbert: No 'protected class' status based on sexual orientation". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- Vergakis, Brock A. (August 28, 2009). "Gays aren't in protected class, Utah Gov. Herbert says". Associated Press/Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- Federal judge strikes down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage (The Salt Lake Tribune)
- Utah AG requests judge to stop same-sex marriages
- Gehrke, Robert (May 22, 2014). "Herbert says states have a duty to defend gay-marriage bans". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
- Gov. Herbert signs Utah’s LGBT non-discrimination bill into law as supporters cheer
- "Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert web site, Priorities page". Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- "Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert web site, Priorities:Public and Higher Education page". Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- Brubaker, Ladd (17 March 2012). "Will Herbert's veto reset the conversation on sex education?". Deseret News. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Utah Gov. Gary Herbert given $10K by Alton Coal Development". Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- "Large donations raise questions of influence in governor's race". Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- "Lehi firm won I-15 job after scoring tweaked". Retrieved September 21, 2010.
- "UDOT told governor's staff about payment". Retrieved September 21, 2010.
- "Governor Herbert signs public records restriction bill amid protest". Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- "Senate Republicans may block quick HB477 repeal". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- "Governor Signs Additional Bills". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "H.B. 187 Third Substitute". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "Herbert signs so-called ‘ag-gag’ bill". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "HB 187: Drive that tractor on through". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "Second State Bans Undercover Investigations of Factory Farms". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "HSUS Video-Factory Farming". Retrieved May 7, 2012.
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