SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell were sworn in Monday at the Capitol rotunda as all of the state's surviving former governors looked on.
Herbert and Bell were elected to serve the remaining two years of former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s term.
Huntsman, who is now the U.S. ambassador to China, Olene Walker, Michael O. Leavitt and Norman H. Bangerter all sat by Herbert's side as he and Bell took their inaugural oaths administered by Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Christine Durham.
Other dignitaries included Utah's congressional delegation, former state first lady Norma Matheson, members of the governor's Cabinet and Utah Supreme Court, and Maj. Gen Brian L. Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard. Tarbet conducted Monday's ceremony.
Rev. France Davis of Calvary Baptist Church offered the invocation, praying that Utah's governor and lieutenant governor would be blessed with wisdom and knowledge and the ability to strike a balance between work and their families.
Herbert acknowledged the former governors, two of whom, Leavitt and Huntsman, left office early to fill federal posts. President George W. Bush nominated Leavitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in August, 2003.
"For me, it is indeed a special honor to have four former governors join us at this inauguration. There are but a few recorded instances in Utah history when there have been five governors gathered as they are here today. I am humbled, inspired and thankful for their presence," Herbert said after being sworn in as Utah's 17th governor.
Herbert, a Republican, campaigned on his efforts to grow the economy in a surprisingly hard-fought race against Democrat and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon.
"As a state government, Utah must do no less than what is expected of its people and its families. Let us be disciplined, let us be innovative, let us be industrious and let us live within our means," he said.
"Let us also be forward thinking, as Utah's demographics are ever changing. Who would have ever believed that a state of humble cowboys and copper miners would grow into a state that now also includes world-renowned human genetic researchers and aerospace scientists? Utah's strength always has been, and always will be, its people," he said.4 comments on this story
"This state is filled with wonderful, caring people who are dedicated to serving others. People who work side by side, committed to the common good. There is no place in the world where there is more volunteerism and community service than there is here in Utah. True charity comes from each of us reaching out a hand to help our neighbor, not from the overreaching hand of government."
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the LDS Church's First Presidency, prayed for blessings for Utah's elected leaders and their families. "Bless all who have been elected by the people of this great state of Utah ... with wisdom and integrity, with courage and foresight, and with kindness and charity to all."
A 19-gun salute and three-helicopter flyover, all by the Utah Army National Guard of which the governor is chief, followed the ceremonies outside the Capitol.