Spencer Cox was inaugurated as Utah’s 18th governor Monday during an unprecedented ceremony held outdoors at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Southern Utah.
ST. GEORGE – In a break with tradition, Spencer Cox was inaugurated as Utah’s 18th governor today at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins.
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson of Spanish Fork was also sworn into office during the unprecedented mid-morning outdoor ceremony.
“A new administration is a perfect time for fresh beginnings,” Cox emphasized in a post on his new office homepage. “I’m confident that if our incoming state leaders can reflect the good hearts, open minds and strong backs of all our people, we’ll find our way through 2020’s storms to brighter and better days.”
The new governor’s staff explained that the change of venue for the inauguration ceremony from the Utah Capitol to Southern Utah was intended to allow the event to take place outdoors in warmer temperatures so that invited guests could maintain precautionary social distancing during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
That change was also intended to symbolize the new Cox administration’s promised commitment to the economic development of rural Utah communities.
Other state officials sworn into office during the ceremony were Attorney General Sean Reyes, Auditor John Dougall and Treasurer David Damschen.
The event featured brief remarks, musical interludes and congratulatory salutes by the Utah National Guard.
About 500 guests who were pre-screened for coronavirus symptoms attended the event, which was also live-streamed on the state’s Facebook page.
After the ceremony, Cox and Henderson departed Southern Utah in a vehicle convoy to Salt Lake City, with stops planned in their respective hometowns of Fairview and Spanish Fork.