Salt Lake City (ABC 4) -- After spending three years as Jon Huntsman Jr's default replacement, Gary Herbert now knows what it's like to be elected to a full four-year term as Governor of Utah on his own merits.
Gov. Herbert was officially inaugurated as the 17th Governor of Utah on Monday, to much fanfare and celebration. The swearing-in ceremony was accompanied by performances from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, One Voice Children's Choir and the Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band.
Herbert was elected in November, defeating Democrat challenger Peter Cooke. Herbert had already been serving as governor since August 2009 -- when Huntsman resigned to become the U.S. Ambassador to China -- and defeated Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon during a special election in 2010, to fill the remainder of Huntsman's term. However, Monday marked the first time that Herbert filled the role entirely on his own.
Interestingly, although this is Herbert's first full term, Monday marked the third time that he has actually taken the governor's oath of office: Once to replace Huntsman in 2009, again after winning the special election in 2010, and once more Monday.
After being sworn-in, Herbert addressed the public gathered at the state capitol and reaffirmed his vision for Utah. Among his noted priorities were education and strengthening the economy. Herbert's budget proposal calls for an additional $300 million in additional education funding.
Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell and Salt Lake City Mayor Ben McAdams were also inaugurated on Monday.