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SALT LAKE CITY -- State Sen. Greg Bell has been confirmed as Utah's lieutenant governor.
The new lieutenant governor was first confirmed by the Utah Senate--a unanimous vote from his colleagues there. They all have high regard for him, and they have high regard for what he can do as lieutenant governor.
Gov. Gary Herbert appointed Bell from a field of candidates last month. Bell takes the oath to maintain the state seal, oversee elections and act as a liaison on important issues like homeland security.But Bell also sees himself in a leadership role, as someone who can set the tone for the way government operates. He called for civility Tuesday. "Our political process has become too polarized, and my aim will be to maintain as much decency and civility and respect to talk about principles and policies and practices and not so much about personalities, but to keep a good tone," Bell said.
He continued, "I pledge to show civility and respect to everyone. And whether your ancestors have been here for a thousand years or came across the plains, or whether you just arrived in a moving van this summer, I pledge to you my welcome to the state of Utah."
Bell has used that philosophy in his years in the state Senate, and previously as mayor of Farmington. His colleagues in the Senate, although partisan themselves at times, expressed admiration for his statesmanship before voting to confirm him Tuesday.
"I think all of us feel a great deal of remorse in losing a good colleague, a good friend in Greg Bell, from our Senate. Although he is seeking and being appointed to a very important position where he will be very successful, it will never be the same," said Sen. Lyle Hilliard, R-Logan.
The reality is that the role of lieutenant governor can be somewhat mundane at times, and Bell knows that. But Gov. Herbert said he wants Bell's leadership to shine in this new partnership for the state of Utah.
Story compiled by Richard Piatt and The Associated Press