18th Utah Gov. Spencer Cox
does inauguration his way
By Robert Stevens
FAIRVIEW—Utah’s newest governor made a point of breaking with tradition for his inauguration day.
Instead of holding the 18th gubernatorial inauguration in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 4, Spencer Cox chose to take his inauguration on the road. First to the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins for the ceremony, then a tour through rural Utah with a special stop in his own hometown of Fairview.
Hundreds of people were waiting for Cox on Fairview’s Main Street when the newly-inaugurated governor’s motorcade pulled into town. Parents and children alike waved and some carried American flags.
Accompanied by his wife, Abby, their kids, and running mate Diedre Henderson and her husband, Gabe, Cox stood on the stairs in front of the CentraCom building with a portable PA loudspeaker and addressed the members of his community, who came out to show their support.
“This is a really special day for us,” Cox told the crowd. “We are so honored to be out here with you today. Thank you for coming and waiting for us. I know it’s really cold, but today we took a sacred oath to defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of Utah, and that is something that we take very seriously.”
Cox said the inauguration ceremony he just came from had moved him deeply, but he tried to “hold it together.” He said he was so grateful for the overwhelming support from family, friends and fellow Utahns.
“I always used to tell myself they don’t let people from Sanpete County do stuff like this,” Cox announced. “It turns out, not only do they let us do stuff like this, they want what we have. Fairview is a very special place. We are as screwed up as everyone else, but we know it and we still love each other.”
Cox spoke briefly of the losses the community has faced this year, including friend and former-Fairview City Police Chief Jim Cheney, who died from complications related to COVID. Cox said Cheney was a perfect example of the kind of people who make Fairview City the wonderful community it is.
“I know it’s been an awful year, but there is no one we would rather spend it with than you,” Cox said. “We love you. Thank you for making us who we are. I promise we won’t forget where we came from, and we will be back often. Thank you for taking care of us and thank you for loving us. God bless you all and happy New Year.”
The newly inaugurated Lt. Gov. Henderson also spoke briefly after a glowing introduction from Cox. “She is amazing and she is one of us,” he said.
“I am so proud that Gabe and I have joined forces with Abby and Spencer,” Henderson told the crowd. “This weekend has been incredible. We have been to church services together. We have done some service in southern Utah.”
Henderson said the weekend served as a first-hand reminder of Cox’s leadership skills and why she chose to accept Cox’s invitation to be his running mate.
The decision to hold the inauguration ceremony in St. George, as well as visiting areas in rural Utah, was because Cox wants Utahns all over the state, not just the Wasatch Front, to feel like he was the governor by being there in person.
The timing of the ceremony landed on the 125th anniversary of Utah’s statehood. In every county seat across all 29 counties in the Beehive State, fireworks went off simultaneously at 7:30 p.m. Monday night.