SALT LAKE CITY -- Spencer J. Cox took the oath of office as the eighth lieutenant governor in the history of the State of Utah late Wednesday afternoon.
In a short ceremony held after the Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment to replace Greg Bell as second in command, Cox said he is excited about what the opportunity brings. He took the oath of office from Judge Ted Stewart, for whom he once worked as a law clerk, at 5:44 p.m.
He expressed an eagerness to work alongside Gov. Gary Herbert.
"No one was more shocked than me when I got a call from the governor," Cox said.
Cox, who served just one year in the Utah House of Representatives, is the third lieutenant governor to be appointed to the office. Utah did not have a lieutenant governor until 1975. Previously the position was held by the Utah Secretary of State, but that office was abolished by the Legislature in 1976.
A fifth generation farmer from Sanpete County, Cox replaces Bell, who tendered his resignation earlier this year saying he needed to spend more time on personal business.
Cox comes to the office with experience as a small city mayor, a county commissioner and then one year as a state representative. A graduate of Utah State University and then the Washington School of Law, Cox lived in Davis County and practiced law in Salt Lake, before relocating to Sanpete County.
Herbert described the event as a "sweet day" and praised Bell for his service, while also lauding the skills and background of Cox.
In a speech to the Senate, Cox expressed a desire to continue to work closely with lawmakers on issues important to Utah.
"We're on the same team. I truly believe we all serve a common goal," Cox said.