Michelle Tessier, KSL

GOP candidate for lt. governor in Utah says she’s showing symptoms of COVID-19

By Lisa Riley Roche, KSL | Posted - Aug. 7, 2020 at 2:04 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Deidre Henderson of Spanish Fork, announced Friday on Twitter that she believes she may have contracted COVID-19.

Henderson is the running mate of Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in the November gubernatorial election.

“This week two members of my immediate family tested positive for COVID-19. I have now begun to show symptoms consistent with the virus and am presumed to be positive, though this will be confirmed when my test results are returned,” Henderson said in a tweet posted midday.

She added that they “have been in contact with the Department of Health, and my family and I are following strict isolation and quarantining protocols as guided by public health professionals,” and referred media questions to a state Senate spokeswoman, Aundrea Peterson.

Peterson said Henderson “is taking time to care for her family and not feeling up to interviews at this time.”

Henderson later said in a statement that “while I know people will have more questions, I’ll be resting this weekend and ask for privacy as I work to recover from this virus and take care of my family.”

Cox said he doesn’t think he was exposed to the virus.

He tweeted: “Prayers up for my dear friend Deidre and her family. We have not been together in the past week and always wear masks when we do meet, so there is no reason to believe I have been exposed. This virus is relentless. Please be safe.”

During the GOP gubernatorial primary race earlier this year, former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and a number of members of his campaign staff all tested positive for the coronavirus. Cox won the June 30 primary election over Huntsman, former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes and former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright.

Cox’s campaign manager, Austin Cox, has said the lieutenant governor won’t start campaigning for the general election until after Labor Day in September. Gov. Gary Herbert is not seeking reelection after more than a decade in office.

Lisa Riley Roche

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