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OREM, Utah (AP) -- Chris Horne needed to find someone to shadow at work for a seventh-grade school assignment. He chose his neighbor, who happens to be the governor of Utah.
After his initial request to Gov. Gary Herbert's office was denied, Horne followed through one Sunday at church and asked the governor in person.
"He said 'Yes' right on the spot," said Brenda Horne, the boy's mother. "I was shocked. I thought my son had a lot of moxie to go ask him. He was very confident."
Horne is a student at Lakeridge Junior High in Orem. He spent one Monday this month with Herbert at the Capitol and got a first-hand look at what it's like to be the state's top elected official.
"It made me feel like I was important," he said. "Yeah, that's a great thing to be."
Horne said Herbert introduced him to everyone they met, including lawmakers at a meeting where Herbert presented his proposed 2010 budget.
"We mostly talked about the budget," Horne said. "I thought it was really amazing that he has to come up with all that stuff, how much to put into each thing, how much to subtract, though he has staff help."
Herbert was also impressed with the assertive 12-year-old, governor's spokeswoman Angie Welling said.
"After the special day he spent with Chris, it made him feel that the rising generation will take care of things very well," Welling said.
Horne sat in with Herbert in an interview on The Doug Wright Show on KSL radio. Horne said the highlight of his day was when Herbert introduced him on the air as Christopher Horne, a student at Lakeridge Junior High.
"He wants to know what it's like to be the governor. It's like being a pin cushion," Herbert said during the interview.
Horne lives next to Herbert's home in Orem and says he plays with the governor's grandchildren.
Brenda Horne says her son got an invaluable educational experience.
"He got the VIP treatment. The governor went above and beyond anything that we expected," she said. "I'm so grateful for this experience and the generosity that Gov. Herbert showed."
Information from: The Daily Herald
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)