The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board recommends a vote for incumbent Republican Gary Herbert in the race for Utah's governor.
One of Governor Herbert's signature accomplishments is his leadership role in helping create the Utah Compact, a compassionate, common-sense guide toward immigration policy. The Utah Compact has become an example for other states seeking a correct path toward easing and solving immigration-related concerns.
Herbert is a moderate to conservative governor who has shown a solid hand in guiding our state's safely through a national economic crisis. While he is there to temper legislative excesses -- such as his veto of last year's silly sex education bill -- he also has both respect and rapport with both parties in the Legislature. Herbert has also worked hard to promote the interests of Hill Air Force Base.
Observing the governor's performance in office, we see him as a leader able to stand up to the ultra-conservatives that dot our Legislature. He has shown a willingness to work to reform long-term dysfunctions in Utah government, such as our state's over-intrusive role in selling liquor and persistent ethics issues within the Legislature.
The governor also is well-positioned to guide Utah through upcoming discussions with the federal government over Utah's role in Medicaid reform, health insurance exchanges, immigration and federal lands. He understands that there is a positive role for states to demonstrate their distinct expertise -- with the help of federal dollars -- in finding effective reforms, particularly in health care and costly entitlements.
The governor also is working to find clean ways to take advantage of Utah's abundant energy opportunities, while making sure that our state's natural beauty is not exploited. He is a leader who can talk with credibility to both business and environmental interests.
The Democratic challenger, Ret. Gen. Peter Cooke, is a capable candidate. However, Gov. Gary Herbert has earned voters' trust as a moderately conservative, effective leader. There is no reason to make a change.
Gary Herbert audio:
Peter Cooke audio: