Spencer Cox, a 2001 alumnus of the Washington and Lee School of Law, has been selected by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to serve as the state's new lieutenant governor.
A Utah native who came to W&L after graduating from Utah State University, Spencer was elected last year to the Utah House of Representatives. Prior to being elected to the legislature, he'd served as mayor of Fairview, the rural Utah town where he was born and raised. He had also been a member of the Sanpete County Commission and is co-chair, with the current lieutenant governor Greg Bell, on the Governor's Rural Partnership Board. (Bell announced last month that he was stepping down.)
After graduating from W&L, Spencer clerked for U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart and then joined the Salt Lake City law firm of Fabian and Clendenin. He eventually returned to Fairview and is vice president of CentraCom, rural telecommunications company.
According to various media reports, Spencer's selection came as a surprise to many. But Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart called the choice a pleasant surprise, telling the Salt Lake City Tribune: "He’s only been in the House for a little while, but he’s very well respected and he has a great mind when it comes to policy and issues."
At a press conference to announce the nomination, Spencer said: "My goal is to just serve to the best of my capacity. My sincere hope is you won't notice a difference."
Spencer will now await confirmation by the Utah state senate, which may hold a confirmation hearing on Oct. 16.