Spencer Cox on Principles & Values



Utah ranked best state; interested in keeping it that way

Probably my favorite ranking comes from U.S. News and World Report where they evaluated all 50 states using thousands of data points and more than 70 different metrics in eight categories. Their goal? To determine definitively, which is the best state. And for the very first time in 2023, Utah was named the best state in the nation. Period. I'm much more interested in why we are objectively the best state. And I'm most interested in how we keep it that way.
Source: 2024 State of the State Address to the Utah legislature , Jan 18, 2024

I don't like to rank sins; I just do the best I can

Q: Mormon leaders recently clarified that same-sex marriage is a "grievous sin." How do you feel about that?

COX: Whether you see that as a sin or not I think is unimportant. I don't like to rank sins. I clearly have many, many, many faults and many sins myself. I've just determined that none of that matters to me personally. I just have to do the best I can with what I have. Part of that is the commandment - and my church teaches this as well - that we are to love everyone as Jesus taught us.

Source: NPR on 2024 Utah Gubernatorial race , Jul 19, 2023

American Exceptionalism means disagreeing better

Cox said he saw "American Exceptionalism at work" at the National Governors' Association winter meeting earlier this month. "We didn't agree on everything, but we disagreed better. And we found ideas to bring us together. I still believe this is what Americans want. I don't just mean civility and kindness (although we definitely need more of that too). I mean passionate disagreement that doesn't destroy our souls and our country," Cox said.
Source: The Hill e-zine on 2024 Utah Gubernatorial race , Feb 20, 2023

It is for the free people of Utah to dictate our destiny

To every young person today grappling with fear, I want to speak to you. Whether it be fear of finding a good career or a home you can afford to buy. Or fear of a planet in peril, or attacks on democracy at home or abroad, or the effects of inflation. Or fear of any of the other crazy things in our society today. If there is one message that I could give to you, it is this: The future of our state is not written in the stars. It is for us, the free men and women of Utah, to dictate our destiny.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Utah legislature , Jan 19, 2023

Real power in pleading for help from a higher authority

Now, you have heard me ask our fellow Utahns to unite in faith and prayer in asking God to help deliver us from drought. I have been mocked both at home and abroad by clever comedians and pundits in the media. But, as a man of faith, I make no excuses for my beliefs. I believe there is real power in people of all different faiths and backgrounds uniting together and pleading for help from a higher authority than our own.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Utah legislature , Jan 19, 2023

Vice Chairman of the National Governors Association

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ): "I have the great honor this year of serving as the Chairman of the National Governors Association. Sitting by my side as vice-chairman is Governor Spencer Cox, Republican of Utah. There are few states more different than New Jersey & Utah. Yet over the past 6 months, Spencer & I have come to respect each other not just as colleagues, but even more so as friends. This is what we need more of in our politics. Definitely at the national level, but right here at home, as well."
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the N.J. legislature , Jan 10, 2023

If America is world's last great hope, Utah is America's

I sometimes worry that we waste too much valuable time on things that tear us apart. You may have noticed last year that I have very little interest in fighting the so-called culture wars. Every good and worthy cause--taken to an extreme (and if there's one thing we are good at, it's taking everything to extremes)--can become toxic and destructive. It used to be said that all politics is local. I no longer believe that to be true. Today all politics is national. And that is bad. Very bad.

The good people of our state--and our country--are in desperate search for leadership. A desperate search for hope. In past generations as Americans, we dreamed big. Now, I'm afraid that our eyes are consistently in the gutter. But not in Utah. Not yet anyway. In Utah, we still look up. I firmly believe in my heart that if America is the last great hope of the world, then Utah is the last great hope of America.

Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Utah legislature , Jan 20, 2022

Everything has become political, that's a huge mistake

I spoke about this often over the past eight years, about how unfortunate it is that that politics is becoming religion in our country, that politics is becoming sport and entertainment in our country, that everything is political. It's a huge mistake. And it's caused us to make bad decisions during this pandemic and in other phases of our life, as well. So it's deeply troubling.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2021 interview of Utah Governor , Jul 4, 2021

We are friends; we must always be friends

That, of course, does not mean that we should never disagree. I'm going to veto some of your bills. Probably more than my predecessors. Please don't take it personally. You are going to override some of those vetoes. I promise not to take that personally. It doesn't mean that I'm bad or you're weak. It is simply part of a process. A gloriously messy and inspired process. But there must be no room for contempt or hate. We are friends. We must always be friends.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Utah legislature , Jan 21, 2021

Coronavirus: Debunk rumors; don't share untrue stories

Cox sought to debunk what he called "crazy rumors" amid Utah's part of the coronavirus scare:
Source: Salt Lake Tribune on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race , Mar 17, 2020

Other governors on Principles & Values: Spencer Cox on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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Page last updated: Feb 16, 2024; copyright 1999-2022 Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org