Near the end of his scheduled press conference at KUED studios on the University of Utah campus and after addressing several topics regarding his state’s long-term governance (including budget proposals and a drastic revision to the state’s tax code that was tabled for a possible special session) Governor Gary Herbert was asked about upcoming transitions at the end of the state’s 2020 legislative session next March. Without specifically referring to a new administration for the state as Herbert has said he will step down and that 2020 would be his last year as Governor, a reporter’s question seemed to prompt some sober reflection and personal introspection from the Beehive State’s 17th chief executive. His lieutenant, Spencer Cox, and several other contenders have indicated their intention to run for the office.
Referring to recent treatment for some benign skin cancer, Herbert said, “I’m a little embarrassed about the cancer thing; my cancer is not life-threatening. A lot of people have had skin cancer and this is not a melanoma.” Recalling his time as Lieutenant Governor under Jon Huntsman, Jr., Herbert acknowledged a longterm effort at assisting with fundraising for the Huntsman Cancer Institute, founded by the late Jon Huntsman, Sr. He also cited ongoing research involving elephants who do not exhibit any cancerous conditions which scientists believe may be related to a specific protein found in large amounts in elephant physiology but only in relatively small amounts in humans. “And I’m a big advocate of sunscreen to be used in the outdoors during work and recreation here in the West,” said Herbert.