SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson was been designated as the acting governor on Friday, April 21. Gov. Cox has since resumed his duties as the State’s Governor.
Henderson served as the acting governor temporarily while Gov. Spencer Cox underwent a “routine medical procedure” that requires sedation. While Cox was incapacitated, Henderson assumed all the duties, responsibilities, and powers of the governor.
Henderson commented on the new-found responsibilities on Twitter saying, “Oddly enough, being governor feels pretty much the same as being lieutenant governor.”
Henderson’s husband, Gabe Henderson, also made light of the situation, tweeting that he had kissed the Governor this morning and he felt “pretty good” about it.
By law, Cox has to report the temporary transfer of power to the Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice, which is currently Matthew Durrant. He also sent Durrant a letter to the chief justice when he was able to resume his duties and responsibilities as governor.
According to the Governor’s Office, doctors expected Cox to be incapacitated for only “an hour or two.” Henderson served as acting governor for about an hour.
In 2018, then-Lt. Gov. Cox was named acting governor for about an hour while Gov. Gary Herbert underwent surgery to remove kidney stones. Cox wasted little time getting hard at work while governor.
In a series of joke declarations, Cox declared Fairview as the new Capital City of Utah, named then-Utah Jazz star Joe Ingles the lieutenant governor, and made Utah “rectangular” by petitioning Wyoming to surrender its “Missing Corner.”
During her short time as acting governor, Lt. Gov. Henderson made few changes around the office, including removing portraits of Cox and replacing them with portraits of her own. She also tapped over “lieutenant” on her office signage so the plaque simply read “Governor.”