Lt. Gov. reports $250K in donations for gubernatorial run

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2016, file photo, Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox speaks with protesters before Utah's six Republican presidential electors cast their votes for Donald Trump, in Salt Lake City. Utah's lieutenant governor says he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2020. Cox launched his run Tuesday, May 14, 2019, making the campaign announcement via Twitter. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Utah’s lieutenant governor has raised more than $250,000 in his run for the state’s top job in 2020.

Republican Spencer Cox’s campaign released the figures on Monday and touted the number of small donations he’s received. The campaign said he’s received more than 1,000 online gifts at an average amount of $68.

Cox became the first candidate to formally launch his run on May 14 with a campaign announcement via Twitter. A former local elected official, Cox was a freshman state lawmaker when Gov. Gary Herbert tapped him for the second-in-command role in 2013.

During a visit last week to Utah State University where he spoke at a mental health conference, Cox told reporters he brings a lot of experience to the table.

“I’ve run a very successful telecommunications company in rural Utah, which is hard to do,” he said. In addition to currently serving as lieutenant governor, Cox also served as a city council member, mayor and country commissioner.

“I’m assuming that most Republicans running for office will agree on 98% of the same policy things,” said Cox. “One of my strengths is bringing people together and collaborating to solve problems, rather than just pure partisanship for the sake of partisanship. I think it’s important that we listen to all voices, that we really work together to look for the best answers,” he said.

Cox said challenges facing the state are much different today than they were a decade ago.

“The next governor is going to be looking at growth issues,” he said citing traffic and the cost of housing. Cox added, “Low unemployment is actually a problem for many of our companies who are looking to hire but can’t find the work force. That’s an area where I think I’ll be able to really focus and help the state move forward.”

Cox plans to visit all 248 cities and towns in Utah during his run for Governor.

According to the Associated Press, state records show Provo businessman Jeff Burningham has raised about $570,000 for a potential run. Burningham will be in Logan on Wednesday to attend the legislative town hall meeting discussing wildfires. Another possible candidate, former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, has raised $105,000.

Former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has confirmed he will not run.

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