The governorship of Utah now belongs to Gary Herbert. No longer the man who dropped into office when Jon Huntsman left office to become ambassador to China, the Republican chief executive Tuesday won his own full four-year term in office by a comfortable margin over retired Gen. Peter Cooke.
The attorney general's office also remained in Republican hands, as the hand-picked successor to outgoing A.G. Mark Shurtleff, John Swallow, cruised to an easy victory over Weber County prosecutor Dee Smith. This is troubling, given Swallow's history of being a supplicant to questionable businesses such as the payday loan shops. But it is what it is.
Meanwhile, Salt Lake County showed itself to be a Democratic island in an overwhelmingly Republican state. That's where Ben McAdams, one of the few Democrats in the Utah Senate and an aide to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, defeated Republican Mark Crockett. With that, McAdams becomes the de facto leader of the party in Utah and a name to watch if the party is to spread its influence beyond the county in years to come.