Utah governor takes over as head of national governors group

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, right, gestures as West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, left, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, center, listen during the opening news conference for the National Governors Association Summer meeting at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, July 24, 2015. Federal highway funding and soaring Medicaid costs are among the top issues to be discussed during the summer meeting of the National Governors Association. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has become the new head of a national state governors group.

Herbert, a Republican, took over as chairman of the bipartisan National Governors Association on Saturday at the close of the organization’s annual summer meeting in West Virginia.

He replaces Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. The chair position rotates annually between the two major political parties.

Herbert’s elevation to chairman of the NGA follows his yearlong term as vice chairman of the association.

The NGA develops policies and lobbies on behalf of 55 governors of U.S. states, territories and commonwealths.

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