Well, here we go. After Leave-it-to-Leavitt (finally) left Utah last year, the then Lt. Gov. Olene Walker stepped in to take over as Governor of Utah. She’s the first woman to be governor here, of course, and, like the man she’s replacing (he’s now head of the EPA in Washington, D.C.), she’s a RINO…Republican In Name Only.
Anywho, there was some controversy about whether or not Gov. Walker could indeed BE “Governor” Walker. Many contended that the Utah State Constitution says only that she takes on the responsibilities, NOT the title. I believed this myself until I reviewed the state constitution to find out.
The relevant bit is in Article 7, Section 11, which reads (in part): “In case of the death of the Governor, impeachment, removal from office, resignation, or disability to discharge the duties of the office, or in case of a Governor-elect who fails to take office, the powers and duties of the Governor shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor until the disability ceases or until the next general election…”
The key word here is “devolve,” which Webster defines as “to pass (on) to another: said of duties, responsibilities, etc.” So I guess she is actually Governor Walker.
Regardless, the real point is that she announced on Saturday that she plans to run for Republican nomination (their convention is in May) to try for another term as governor.
Here’s my thoughts on this:
She might win the nomination, but I actually doubt it. Why? Well, sure, she’s the incumbant, she’s pretty popular here in Utah, and she’s obviously got the recognition factor on her side. BUT, she’s old (73 years), female (this state is pretty cheuvanist), and is easily the worst public speaker I have ever heard…
I have met Governor Walker more than once. Though the meetings were brief and mostly revolved around the issue of electronic voting, I did get a good impression of her as a politician. She’s very intelligent, though less than articulate, and very personable. Despite her age, she has a good bearing and doesn’t look physically ill. She has what here in Mormon-land I would call “Relief Society Strength,” and what anywhere else would be called “feminine poise.” :)
I was also surprised to hear from our “First Lad” Myron Walker (Olene’s husband), who said on the news something like “To heck with retirement!” I’ve never seen him before, I don’t think. That was kind of surprising.
So…my prediction is that she’ll lose the Republican nomination in a very close race with John Huntsman, Jr. He seems to be the chosen silver-spooner they want for their contender this year. After losing the GOP nomination, Walker will then run as an independent (unaffiliated) instead.
If she DOES happen to get the GOP nomination, then I guess she’ll run that way, but again, I don’t think she will get the nomination. I think the powers that be have let her know this and that’s why she waited so long to announce. This way she’ll have less impact on the GOP nomination race.
Why I Give a Shit
I only care about all of this because a good friend of mine and a man who has more integrity than anyone else I know, Richard Mack, is running for governor under the Libertarian Party’s banner with endorsements from the Constitution Party of Utah and the Independent American Party of Utah.
I want Mack to win, even if I end up not living in Utah anymore. His win will mean all kinds of better things will happen.
Does he have a chance?
Sure he does! Not only is he endorsed by three of the third parties (all of which are considered “conservative” here), he’s also got a famous name, a lot of personal appeal, and of the others who he’ll be running against (namely Huntsman, Jr. and Matheson), he’s the only non-silver-spooner and the only extremely pro-gun person on the ticket.
Having Walker on the ticket will change things, surely, but I don’t think it will change them by a lot. If Mack sticks to his plan and hits it the way he’s aiming to hit it, he’ll still pull it off. At the very least, he’ll pull enough votes to make the other partyies notice and get nervous. I think he’ll win.
Let me put it this way: if Mack wins the race and becomes Governor Richard Mack, then things in Utah will start changing for the better and we may be able to stave off what I think will happen otherwise…which is civil war. I’d much rather win by ballot than by bullet, despite my chosen name for this blog. :)
So there you have it. My expert political analysis of the situation thus far in the race for Governor of Utah. Feel free to quote me.
Got comments? Email me, dammit!