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List of Governors of Utah: Wikis


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Governor of Utah
Seal of Utah.svg
File:Gary Herbert 2009.jpg
Gary Herbert

since August 11, 2009
Style The Honorable
Term length 4 years
Inaugural holder Heber Manning Wells
Formation January 6, 1896

The Governor of Utah is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Utah[1] and the commander-in-chief of its military forces.[2] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws,[1] and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Utah Legislature[3] and to convene the legislature on "extraordinary occasions".[4]

The governor has a four-year term, commencing on the first Monday of January after election.[5] To be elected governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, and must have been a citizen of Utah for at least 5 years, at the time of election.[6] The lieutenant governor is elected on the same ticket as the governor.[7] If the office of governor becomes vacant during the first year of the term, the lieutenant governor becomes governor until the next general election; if it becomes vacant after the first year of the term, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term.[8] There is no term limit.



There were 14 governors of Utah Territory, which became a state on January 4, 1896. Since statehood, there have been 17 governors of Utah, including 11 Republicans and 6 Democrats. The longest-serving governor was Calvin Lewellyn Rampton, who served three terms from 1965 to 1977. The shortest-serving governor was Olene Smith Walker, who served the remaining 14 months of Michael Okerlund Leavitt's term upon Leavitt's resignation. The current governor is Republican Gary R. Herbert, who took office on August 11, 2009.

The youngest person to become governor was Heber Manning Wells, who was elected at the age of 36 and served two terms from 1896-1905. The oldest to be elected was Simon Bamberger, who was elected at the age of 70 and served one term from 1917-1921. The oldest to be appointed was Olene S. Walker, who succeeded Michael O. Leavitt in 2003 at the age of 72, after Leavitt resigned to become head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Walker finished the rest of Leavitt's term in 2005, and was not reelected.

Utah is one of the few states in which none of its governors have ever died in office.

The shortest retirement for any Utah governor belonged to Henry H. Blood, the governor from 1933–1941, when he died 1 year and 134 days after leaving office, dying from cerebral hemorrhage on June 19, 1942. The longest retirement for any Utah governor belongs to Herbert B. Maw, the governor from 1941–1949, when he died 40 years and 155 days after leaving office, dying from natural causes on November 17, 1990.

Salt Lake County has produced the most governors, with six. Davis County has produced four, Weber County, Iron County, and Utah County have produced two each, and Tooele County and Carbon County have produced one each.

Six governors were born outside of Utah: John C. Cutler (1905–1909; Sheffield, England), William Spry (1909–1917; Windsor, England), Simon Bamberger (1917–1921; Eberstadt, Germany), George H. Dern (1925–1933; Scribner, Nebraska), Scott M. Matheson, (1977–1985; Chicago, Illinois), and Jon Huntsman, Jr., (2005–2009; Palo Alto, California)

List of Governors of Utah Territory

Utah Territory was organized by Act of Congress on September 9, 1850.

Governor Took office Left office Party Appointed by
Brigham Young 1850 July 1857 Millard Filmore
Franklin Pierce
Alfred Cumming July 1857 May 1861 Democratic James Buchanan
John W. Dawson May 1861 June 1861 Democratic/Republican Abraham Lincoln
Stephen Selwyn Harding 1862 1863 Liberal Abraham Lincoln
James Duane Doty 1863 1865 Democratic Abraham Lincoln
Charles Durkee 1865 1869 Republican
John Wilson Shaffer 1870 1870 Ulysses S. Grant
Vernon H. Vaughan 1870 1871 Ulysses S. Grant
George Lemuel Woods 1871 1875 Republican Ulysses S. Grant
Samuel Beach Axtell[note 1] 1875 1875 Democratic Ulysses S. Grant
George W. Emery 1875 1880 Ulysses S. Grant
Eli Houston Murray 1880 1886 Rutherford B. Hayes
Chester A. Arthur
Caleb Walton West 1886 1888 Grover Cleveland
Arthur Lloyd Thomas 1889 1893 Benjamin Harrison
Caleb Walton West 1893 January 6, 1896 Grover Cleveland

List of Utah Governors since Statehood

The State of Utah was admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896. Since statehood, fourteen of the seventeen governors have been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the last non-Mormon governor being in 1957.

# Picture Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor[note 2] Term Notes
1   Heber Manning Wells.jpg Heber Manning Wells[9] January 6, 1896 January 2, 1905 Republican None 1
2   No image.svg John Christopher Cutler January 2, 1905 January 4, 1909 Republican None 3
3   No image.svg William Spry January 4, 1909 January 1, 1917 Republican None 4
4   Bamberger.jpg Simon Bamberger January 1, 1917 January 3, 1921 Democratic None 6
5   CharlesRMabey.jpg Charles Rendell Mabey January 3, 1921 January 5, 1925 Republican None 7
6   George H Dern.jpg George Henry Dern January 5, 1925 January 2, 1933 Democratic None 8
7   Henry Hooper Blood January 2, 1933 January 6, 1941 Democratic None 10
8   No image.svg Herbert Brown Maw January 6, 1941 January 3, 1949 Democratic None 12
9   No image.svg Joseph Bracken Lee January 3, 1949 January 7, 1957 Republican None 14
10   No image.svg George Dewey Clyde January 7, 1957 January 4, 1965 Republican None 16
11   Calvin Lewellyn Rampton[10][11] January 4, 1965 January 3, 1977 Democratic None 18
  Clyde L. Miller
12   Scott Matheson speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the USS Salt Lake City, May 12, 1984.JPEG Scott Milne Matheson[12] January 3, 1977 January 7, 1985 Democratic   David S. Monson 21
13   No image.svg Norman Howard Bangerter[13][14] January 7, 1985 January 4, 1993 Republican   W. Val Oveson 23
14   Mike Leavitt.jpg Michael Okerlund Leavitt[15][16][17] January 4, 1993 November 5, 2003 Republican   Olene S. Walker 25 [note 3]
15   Olene Walker.JPG Olene Smith Walker[18] November 5, 2003 January 3, 2005 Republican   Gayle McKeachnie
16   Ambassador Jon Huntsman.jpg Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr.[19][20] January 3, 2005 August 11, 2009 Republican   Gary R. Herbert 28 [note 4]
17   Gary Richard Herbert[21] August 11, 2009 Incumbent Republican   Greg Bell

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Utah except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Name Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
James Duane Doty 1863–1865 (territorial) U.S. Representative from Wisconsin; Governor of Wisconsin Territory
Charles Durkee 1865–1869 (territorial) U.S. Representative from Wisconsin; U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
George Lemuel Woods 1871–1875 (territorial) Governor of Oregon
Samuel Beach Axtell 1875 (territorial) U.S. Representative from California; Governor of New Mexico Territory*
George Dern 1925–1933 United States Secretary of War
Mike Leavitt 1993–2003 Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency*; United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 2005–2009 United States Ambassador to Singapore; United States Ambassador to China*

Living former governors

As of September 2009, four former governors are alive, the oldest being Olene Smith Walker (2003–2005, born 1930). The most recent governor to die was Calvin Lewellyn Rampton (1965–1977), who died September 16, 2007. The most recently-serving governor to die was Scott Milne Matheson (1977–1985), who died October 7, 1990.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Norman Howard Bangerter 1985–1993 January 4, 1933 (1933-01-04) (age 77)
Michael Okerlund Leavitt 1993–2003 February 11, 1951 (1951-02-11) (age 59)
Olene Smith Walker 2003–2005 November 15, 1930 (1930-11-15) (age 79)
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 2005–2009 March 26, 1960 (1960-03-26) (age 49)


  1. ^ Resigned to become the Governor of New Mexico Territory.
  2. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in 1976.
  3. ^ Resigned to take a position as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  4. ^ Resigned to take a position as United States Ambassador to China.


  1. ^ a b UT Const. art. VII, § 5.
  2. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 4.
  3. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 8.
  4. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 6.
  5. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 1.
  6. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 3.
  7. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 2.
  8. ^ UT Const. art. VII, § 11.
  9. ^ "SALT LAKE CELEBRATES; Civic Demonstration in Honor of Utah's Statehood. GOVERNOR WELLS IS INAUGURATED The Installation in the Mormon Temple -- An Exposition of the new State's Natural Re- sources.". The New York Times. 1896-01-07. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  10. ^ "Democrat is sworn in as Utah governor". The New York Times. 1965-01-05. pp. 19. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  11. ^ "Silence". Ledger, The. 1973-01-02.,289012&dq=calvin+rampton+sworn+in. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  12. ^ "Death: Scott Milne Matheson". Deseret News. 1990-10-09. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  13. ^ "Newsline: The West Bangerter Will Take State Reins Jan. 7". Deseret News. 1985-01-01. pp. B1.,80112&dq=bangerter+sworn+in. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  14. ^ "Governor who wouldn't give in gets sworn in". Deseret News. 1989-01-02. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  15. ^ "Leavitt vows to set new standards for Utah government". Deseret News. 1993-01-04. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  16. ^ "State officials taking oaths of office Monday at capitol". Deseret News. 1997-01-05. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  17. ^ Burton, Greg (2001-01-05). "Leavitt Sails Into Third Term". The Salt Lake Tribune. pp. A1. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  18. ^ Spangler, Jerry (2003-11-06). "Walker takes oath as Utah governor". Deseret News.,5143,525036051,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  19. ^ Ziober, Leslie (2005-01-04). "Brigham Young U.: Huntsman sworn in as 16th governor of Utah.". America's Intelligence Wire. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  20. ^ "Gov. Huntsman sworn in for second term". KSL. 2008-01-05. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  21. ^ Piatt, Richard; Richards, Mary & Associated Press (2009-08-11). "Huntsman resigns governor's office; Herbert sworn in". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 


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