Delegates trade one Cox for another for Utah House seat

The Salt Lake Tribune

Jon Cox says Sanpete County residents are fiscal conservatives and that’s why they chose him to replace Rep. Spencer Cox in the Utah House after Gov. Gary Herbert chose Spencer Cox to be his new lieutenant governor.

“We didn’t want the state to have to pay for another nameplate,” Jon Cox joked Friday on Twitter, a day after delegates in House District 58 chose him as the replacement.

Jon Cox — who is a distant cousin of Spencer Cox — serves as a Sanpete County commissioner, a seat he took after Spencer Cox won his seat in the Utah House in 2012.

Jon Cox worked for five years as a constituent liaison in Sen. Bob Bennett’s office and now is an assistant professor of history at Snow College.

Under Utah law, the state party will forward Jon Cox’s name to Herbert, who will formally make the appointment to the House seat, which represents Sanpete and Juab counties.

“I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve rural Utah in the Legislature,” said Jon Cox, who won nearly 65 percent of the delegate vote. “Spencer was a tireless defender for Sanpete and Juab counties, so I have some incredibly big shoes to fill.”

Herbert picked Spencer Cox last month as his new lieutenant governor, replacing Greg Bell.

Herbert wants state to hire more veterans


495px-Gary_Herbert_cropOn the eve of Veterans Day weekend, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order directing state departments to identify ways to bolster hiring of military veterans.

“Our veterans have freely given their time, sweat and blood to serve this great state and nation,” Herbert said in a statement. “Each and every veteran deserves an opportunity to continue that service through employment opportunities here at home. The state of Utah will serve as a model employer for our veterans.”

Utah has more than 165,000 veterans, military personnel, National Guard troops and reservists. Unemployment for veterans in the state remains higher than the overall jobless rate.

The governor’s order directs the departments of Human Resource Management, Workforce Services and Veterans and Military Affairs to determine what percentage of the state workforce veterans represent and develop a strategy to increase or maintain the levels of veteran employment.

The order also calls for increased outreach among veterans groups.

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