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Spencer Cox was elected vice president of the Western Governors Association

Spencer Cox was elected vice president of the Western Governors Association

Spencer Cox was elected vice president of the Western Governors Association

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has been tapped to lead an organization of Western state governors after serving as president of the National Governors Association for the past year.

The Western Governors Association announced Friday that Cox has been elected vice president of the organization. The Republican governor will serve with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, as chairman. Lujan Grisham served as vice president under Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

“Governors are engaging in hands-on policy, and I look forward to working with my fellow governors on solutions to the challenges we face in the West,” Cox said.

As president, Lujan Grisham announced that he would focus on housing in the western states.

“Too many working-class families do not have access to housing that meets their needs, and this lowers quality of life and threatens our vibrant economic growth,” she said. “We are focused on removing obstacles, reducing development costs and bringing new resources and public lands into play to provide this much-needed housing.”

Housing affordability

Cox focused on housing affordability in the final year of his first term as Utah governor. Ahead of the 2024 legislative session, he has championed policies to build 35,000 new homes in the state over the next few years. Lawmakers created a fund from the state treasurer’s account to provide low-interest loans to developments with 60 percent or more of the housing deemed affordable.

Cox used his role as president of the National Governors Association to promote his Disagree Better initiative, which encouraged governors to record ads with members of the opposing political party in their state.

During the organization’s meetings in Washington in February, Cox promoted the initiative during a White House news conference alongside President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, vice chairman of the National Governors Association.