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Jon Cox says Sanpete County residents are fiscal conservatives and that's why they chose him to replace Rep. Spencer Cox in the Utah House after Gov. Gary Herbert chose Spencer Cox to be his new lieutenant governor.

"We didn't want the state to have to pay for another nameplate," Jon Cox joked Friday on Twitter, a day after delegates in House District 58 chose him as the replacement.

Jon Cox — who is a distant cousin of Spencer Cox — serves as a Sanpete County commissioner, a seat he took after Spencer Cox won his seat in the Utah House in 2012.

Jon Cox worked for five years as a constituent liaison in Sen. Bob Bennett's office and now is an assistant professor of history at Snow College.

Under Utah law, the state party will forward Jon Cox's name to Herbert, who will formally make the appointment to the House seat, which represents Sanpete and Juab counties.

"I'm honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve rural Utah in the Legislature," said Jon Cox, who won nearly 65 percent of the delegate vote. "Spencer was a tireless defender for Sanpete and Juab counties, so I have some incredibly big shoes to fill."

Herbert picked Spencer Cox last month as his new lieutenant governor, replacing Greg Bell.

Robert Gehrke