Spencer Cox didn’t grow up dreaming to be governor.
He grew up in the heart of Utah, part of the sixth generation of a farming family in rural Fairview—and about as far away from Utah’s capitol as anyone could imagine. The oldest of eight children, Spencer learned honesty, responsibility and the value of hard work early. And it stuck.
Overcoming adversity and bullies.
When Spencer was 10, his parents divorced—rocking his seemingly secure world and making this “kid with big glasses” a frequent target of pranks. Fortunately, his family came to his rescue during this dark time, and he got through it stronger and with a deeply instilled desire to defend underdogs everywhere.
From school to mission and back again.
After high school, Spencer enrolled at nearby Snow College. He put his education on hold for a two-year church mission to Mexico, which taught him the compassion and drive to make a difference that only comes from seeing extreme poverty. When he returned, Spencer and his high school sweetheart Abby completed their studies at Snow.
Plans to attend BYU quickly changed when Spencer realized Abby was committed to Utah State University. He followed her to Logan, where they became proud Aggies, married and started their family.
An unaccepted invitation to Harvard.
Graduating with a 4.0 GPA and receiving USU’s Student of the Year honors got Spencer an acceptance letter to Harvard. But he and Abby opted instead for the smaller Washington and Lee University of Law “because it felt right,” where he received his Juris Doctor.
Starting and giving up a promising career.
After graduation, Spencer clerked for U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart and started a successful law career at Salt Lake City’s Fabian Clendenin. Even though everything seemed perfect, Spencer and Abby felt something was missing. They soon realized they wanted to give their growing family the life and rural values they experienced in Sanpete County.
Helping to run the family business.
Sealing the deal to move back home, Spencer’s dad asked him to help manage CentraCom—the Cox family’s telecommunications company for over 100 years. After the recession hit in 2008, he and his father saved hundreds of jobs when most companies were cutting them.
The call to serve his community.
Despite an idyllic life working the farm with his kids, coaching their teams, and helping with homework, Spencer felt a responsibility to make a difference in his community—serving as city councilman, mayor, county commissioner and state representative.
The 200-mile commute.
Then, the unexpected happened: Utah Governor Herbert called and asked the freshman representative to become his new lieutenant governor. Spencer and Abby agreed under one condition—he would continue to live and commute from Fairview, a four-hour round trip.
Six years of unprecedented success.
Spencer’s reputation for creating consensus, speaking his mind and fighting for what he believed proved to be just what the state needed—and contributed to Utah’s unprecedented prosperity and growth.
The reluctant candidate for governor.
When Governor Herbert chose to not run for reelection, Spencer and Abby’s next step should have been easy: go back to living and serving the rural community they love. But they felt like they had more to give. And after a lot of thought and prayers, they decided to run and give a voice to all of Utah’s 29 counties and 248 towns.
The past few weeks have been some of the most difficult in our state's history. Spencer is running for Governor because he believes Utah's best days are ahead of us. And having served as Lieutenant Governor during the most prosperous decade in our state's history, he knows firsthand what it takes to build a strong, vibrant economy in the wake of economic disaster. He's confident that with your support, we can do it again.