Provo’s first female mayor will be Huntsman’s running mate

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah governor candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr. named Provo mayor Michelle Kaufusi as his running mate on Friday.

The Republican and ex-U.S. ambassador to Russia said in a statement that the city’s first female mayor would bring “an important local perspective” as lieutenant governor.

Kaufusi was elected mayor in 2017, after six years on the Provo School Board. She said her experience as a daughter of a single mother of seven taught her the value of education and hard work.

“I am honored to have the trust of Governor Huntsman … his focus on growth, mental health and extending prosperity to rural Utah is exactly the kind of leadership we need,” she said in a statement.

She is married to Steve Kaufusi, the former defensive line football coach at Brigham Young University who also played two NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Huntsman is one of several candidates vying for the GOP nomination for governor. Ex-GOP chair Thomas Wright has also already named a running mate, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop

Other candidates for the GOP nomination include Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, ex-House Speaker Greg Hughes, Salt Lake County Council member Aimee Winder Newton and businessman Jeff Burningham.

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