Salt Lake Tribune – Guv’s priorities: Schools, health-care reform

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. hailed the state’s vibrant economy and growth, but challenged lawmakers Tuesday to do more to help the Utah’s uninsured and invest in Utah’s schools.

It was Huntsman’s first State of the State speech given in the House of Representatives chamber, which closed in 2004 for a $227 million restoration project.

The governor did not offer many details and did not offer sweeping new policy proposals, but focused on the two items – education and health-care reform – that have topped his agenda for the 2008 legislative session.

Are we sure this man is a Republican? It will be interesting to see what his specific proposals are, and how the Republican-dominated Legislature reacts.

When Huntsman was first running for Governor, against Democrat Scott Matheson, I had to do a considerable amount of thinking to figure out who to vote for. I agreed with more of Matheson’s positions on policy, but there was a fair amount of overlap in Huntsman’s positions as well, and Huntsman is a far more dynamic and charismatic individual, which I think goes a long way towards accomplishing goals.

… ultimately, I did vote Matheson, because Utah needs as many Democratic votes as it can get, but I wasn’t unhappy that Huntsman won; and for the most part, I haven’t been unhappy with his tenure in office.

So now, heading into another gubernatorial election year, I’m looking forward to seeing who runs against Huntsman, and how they really try to distinguish themselves; because if they’re not incredible enough, I just might find myself voting for one Mormon Republican this year.