Governor of Utah

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The Governor of the State of Utah is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Utah. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is not subject to term limits.[1]

Current officeholder

The 17th and current governor is Gary R. Herbert, a Republican. Initially an appointee who replaced Jon Huntsman, Herbert was elected to a special, two year term in November 2010.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article VII, the Executive Department.

Under Article VII, Section 1 of the state's Constitution,

The Executive Department shall consist of Governor...


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
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A candidate for governor must be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a resident of Utah for at least five years on the day of the election
  • a United States citizen
  • a qualified elector of Utah at the time of election

Additionally sitting Governors may not hold any federal office, any state office other than the governorship, or be elected to the United States Senate during his term.


Utah elects governors in the Presidential elections, that is, in leap years. For Utah, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 7, 2013 and January 2, 2017 are inaugural days.

In Utah, the governor and lieutenant governor are always elected on a shared ticket in both the primary and the general elections, meaning the two officers will always belong to the same party.

In the event of a tie between two candidates, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose among the top two vote getters.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Utah governors do not face any term limits.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

If the elected Governor dies, resigns, is impeached, is removed, is absent, or is temporarily unable to discharge the office, then the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor.

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article VII, Section 11:

If a vacancy in the office of Governor occurs, the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor, to serve until the first Monday in January of the year following the next regular general election after the vacancy occurs, if the vacancy occurs during the first year of the term of office; or for the remainder of the unexpired term, if the vacancy occurs after the first year of the term of office.

In the event of simultaneous vacancies in the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, next in the line of succession is the President of the Senate, whom, while functioning as Governor, shall have the salary and emoluments of the office.



The Governor upholds and executes all state laws and transacts state and executive business (§ 5).

The governor is responsible for presenting the annual state budget and "State of the State" speech. Additionally, the governor has the power to convene a special session of the state legislature (§ 6) and to grant reprieves and pardons (§ 12). He is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces (§ 4).

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Requiring written information from the officer of any executive department or the head of any state institution of any aspect of the duties, condition, and expenses of the department or institution (§ 5)
  • Appointing investigative committees to look at any department or institution if the legislature is in recess. In such cases, the Governor must include the committee's findings in her next report to the legislature (§ 5)
  • Convening the Senate alone in extraordinary session (§ 6)
  • Adjourning the legislatures when the two chambers cannot agree to do so themselves (§ 7)
  • Vetoing bills, including appropriations, subject to a two-thirds legislative override (§ 8)
  • Filling vacancies in all offices not otherwise provided for, by a commission that expires at the next general election (§ 9)
  • Appointing all offices not otherwise provided for, with the advice and consent of the Senate (§ 10)
  • Sitting on both the Board of Examiners and the Board of State Prison Commissioners with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General (§ 13)
  • Signing and sealing all grants and commissions made by the state of Utah (§ 21)
  • Officially using "The Great Seal of the State of Utah" (§ 22)


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries

Under Article VII, Section 18, the governor's salary is fixed by law and, if changed, does not take effect during the current term.

As of 2010, the Governor of Utah is paid $109,900 a year, the 37th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Contact information

Utah State Capitol Complex
350 North State Street, Suite 200
PO Box 142220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2220

See also

External links