LOGAN – A multi-candidate race for governor of Utah on the Republican side will be decided by delegates and perhaps a primary. One of the recent candidates to throw his hat into the ring is former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes.
Before meeting with the public at the Cache County Administration building Tuesday evening, he was a guest on KVNU’s For the People program. Hughes was asked what it’s like to be one person in a large pool of gubernatorial candidates.
“I wouldn’t use the word intimidating, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered or been willing to do,” Hughes said. “I think the state deserves to have a pool, a deep pool of candidates. I think it should be hard; we haven’t had a true open seat for governor since, really, 1992.
“We’ve talked about (2004), but Olean Walker was our governor at the time. Those don’t come around very often and I’ve never run a statewide race before. I’m a little guy, I need a long runway. It took me forever, I was raising money as fast as I can and getting ready for this race,” he explained.
Hughes said when he was Speaker of the House he used to lean on rural lawmakers who probably understood the county water issues better than he did.
“But I had to coach myself up, I had to go around the state. I had to visit our five water conservation districts. I’ll tell you what, though, I’ve learned a lot. I ran when I was 32 years-old; I have a small business.
“You can’t be a state lawmaker and be a public servant if you don’t have, actually, a real job that pays the bills. It’s not a full-time job, it’s something that you do when you’re not working in your spare time.”
He said he realized during his time away from serving as speaker that people’s lives are busy and they may not know when the legislature is in session, or even who the Speaker of the House is. But everyone knows who the governor is, and the office affords a great ability to communicate with the public like no other elected official can.
AUDIO: Former house speaker on now candidate for governor, Greg Hughes on KVNU’s For the People