Find a list of your saved stories here

Lt. Gov. Walker Would Be Governor

Lt. Gov. Walker Would Be Governor

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Karen Scullin Reporting It's official, Lt. Governor Olene Walker will hold the title of "Governor" if Gov. Leavitt leaves office to become director of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lt. Governor Olene Walker says she is set and ready to go when Governor Leavitt leaves office. And today's opinion from the Attorney General's offfice gives her the official title of governor.

Walker would have taken over the Governor's duties regardless of today's opinion, but holding the official title of Utah's Governor, versus "acting" Governor, was important to Walker. She said it will give her more credibility when she puts a policy on the table.

The controversial issue surfaced after concern over vague wording in the state constitution.

The document says, "in the case of the resignation of the Governor, the "powers and duties of the Governor shall devolve upon the Lt. Governor."

Some people questioned if that statement actually gave the Lt. Governor the title of Governor or "Acting" Governor. Today the Attorney General made it clear what he thinks it means.

Mark Shurtleff, Attorney General for Utah: "When the office of Governor becomes vacant, the Lt. Governor becomes Governor, period."

Olene Walker, Lt. Governor of Utah: "I think the people of Utah deserve a real governor, rather than an acting governor."

The opinion was developed after comparing Utah's case to similar cases involving the U.S. Constitution and constitutions in five other states. Although four of the five stuck with Acting Governor, Shurtleff agreed with the latest case in Arkansas that made the Lt. Governor, Governor.

Even with the opinion someone could still file a lawsuit and take the case to the supreme court, but so far no one is stepping up to challenge the decision.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast