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Washington • President Barack Obama will visit Utah on Friday for an event on the economy at Hill Air Force Base, a White House official confirmed Monday morning.
With his Utah visit, Obama will have visited 49 states the outlier being South Dakota and it will be his first time back in the Beehive State since running for president in August 2007.
The White House said Obama would be in Louisville, Ky., on Thursday and then Utah on Friday but released no further details.
"Always good to have a president in Utah," said Utah's Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who has personally invited Obama to the state and worked with White House officials to get the visit, said he couldn't share any details of the trip but added that Utahns should be excited.
"We have so much to share with him about the great things we're doing in Salt Lake City and the state," said Becker, who is president of the National League of Cities.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said he would greet the Democratic president when he lands in Utah and is trying to schedule a private meeting.
"I am going to avail myself of the opportunity to talk to him about issues that are important to Utah," Herbert said.
The governor singled out Medicaid expansion, though his alternative Healthy Utah program stalled in the Legislature. He is trying to work with state legislative leaders to find a program that they can support. Herbert said he would seek a concession from Obama, where the federal government would cap the state's cost.
Herbert also wants to talk to the president about public lands issues and energy development, along with an ongoing negotiation led by Reps. Rob Bishop and Chaffetz to end turf disputes in parts of southern Utah.
Some environmental groups have pressed Obama to circumvent that effort by naming a new national monument. Multiple sources say it is highly unlikely that Obama would make such a move during this visit.
Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon was excited Obama would come back to the state.
"He's saving the best for close to last," Corroon said, adding that he hopes the president "talks about the Obama recovery and how our economy has turned around over the last several years under his leadership and his support of the middle class. And since he's coming to Hill Air Force Base, I hope he talks about his support for our military."
Ogden's Hill Air Force Base employs nearly 26,000 workers, including active military, and pumps some $3.3 billion into the state's economy, according to the base. It has a federal payroll of $1.24 billion and has spurred a cottage industry in the area for federal contractors.
The base provides maintenance and logistics management for the F-16 Falcon, the A-10 Thunderbolt and Minuteman II missiles.
Obama's Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush, visited Utah four times during his two terms, including to kick off the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Utah, one of the reddest states in the nation, handed Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney, the highest margin of victory in the 2012 election, with nearly 73 percent of the vote going to the Republican.
Romney, who is Mormon, has now made Utah his official home, with houses in Holladay and Park City.
Earlier this month, Obama stopped by another state he had yet to visit as president South Carolina and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that while there's no bucket-list goal to hit all the states, there will be an effort.
"I do think the president would like the opportunity to visit all 50 states as president of the United States," Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One. "Hopefully we'll be able to get that done in the next two years."