Democratic Rep. Brian King launches bid for Utah governor

Dec 4, 2023, 10:54 AM | Updated: 4:14 pm

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, speaks in opposition to overriding Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto of HB11, which bans transgender girls from participating in female school sports, at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 25, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, currently represents District 23 in the Utah Legislature has announced he will run for Utah Governor. King, D-Salt Lake City, launched his 2024 gubernatorial campaign today.

Rep. King joins Utah Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, who has also declared he will challenge Governor Spencer Cox in 2024.


King was elected to the Utah House in 2008. He has served as the House Minority Leader from 2015 to 2023. He is also described as a practicing attorney and business owner.

“I’m running for (Utah) governor to offer an alternative,” King said in a statement sent to media, “a government that prioritizes the public good over personal interests, delivering results, not rhetoric.”


Democratic governors are rare in Utah

Utah has had 18 governors, one-third of them have been Democrats. Utah’s last Democratic governor was Scott Matheson, who served in that role between 1977 and 1985. 

King told KSL NewsRadio he believes Utahns want to get past the labels of Republican and Democrat.

“They want to get past Team Blue and Team Red,” he said. “And they want to talk about things that matter in their lives personally, or the lives of their children or grandchildren, people that they know.”

Utahns elected Gov. Spencer Cox, R-Utah in 2020 and he took office in January 2021. He served as Utah’s Lt. Gov. under Gov. Gary Herbert, from Oct. 2013 through Jan. 2021.

Cox is also an attorney and is currently the chair of the National Governors Association. He has declared his candidacy and confirmed he is running for re-election in 2024.

Other reading: Governor Cox announces lawsuit against TikTok



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Democratic Rep. Brian King launches bid for Utah governor