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Adams and Wilson cling to leadership roles in the Utah Legislature

Speaker of the House Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, left, and Speaker of the Senate, Stuart Adams, R-Layton, speak before a panel discussion on the 2022 legislative session at the Thomas S. Monson Center in Salt Lake City March 8. Both retained their leadership roles after caucus elections on Thursday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Senate Speaker Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson will return to office in the next legislative session, after Republicans in the Utah Senate and House held meetings on Thursday. leadership elections.

“I think it happened for a couple different reasons, but one of them is that I think Utah is one of the best run states in the country,” Adams said, explaining why he think all Senate Republicans who were up for re-election won another term and the Senate. the list of leaders remained unchanged.

“I think we developed good policies. We led the nation in many parameters.”

Adams, from Layton, has served in the Senate since 2009 and has served as its president since 2018. Wilson, a representative from Kaysville, has been in first place in the House since 2019.

Although he said there was still a lot of work to be done to preserve the Great Salt Lake, Adams took credit for various other policies, including Utah’s COVID-19 recovery and the economy of the state.

“We were elected not to look to the past, but to look to the future,” he said at a Capitol press conference on Thursday. “There are a few things I think we want to focus on going forward, and we’re going to continue with a lot of the same policies we’ve had in the past.”

Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said he was happy the campaign season was over and optimistic about what the party plans to do in the future.

“As we move forward and address some of the things that the president has talked about…we’re going to find solutions,” Vickers said. “I think we’re looking for an opportunity to do generational type things.”

Vickers said the caucus could consider increasing teachers’ salaries “to an extent that we hadn’t even thought of before” and also spoke about the importance of water and the Great Salt Lake. In a press release, the Majority Caucus said its priorities also include “(cutting) taxes to offset rising inflation caused by federal government overspending, (maintaining) Utah’s economy and the nation’s best thriving business community” and “sustaining Utah’s high quality of life.”

Senate Majority Whip Ann Millner, R-Ogden, said she ran for Senate leadership to ‘be able to serve the caucus’ and ‘to be able to facilitate good decisions’ .

“I still feel that kind of tremendous responsibility, as we make decisions that impact every individual in the state of Utah,” she said.

Senator Kirk Cullimore, R-Sandy, was also re-elected as Deputy Senate Majority Whip.

Senate Democrats held their own election earlier Thursday and chose Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, as Minority Leader.

“We congratulate them and look forward to working with them throughout this session, as we have done in previous sessions,” Vickers said.

There was little change on the House side, with House Majority Leader Mike Schultz, R-Hooper and House Majority Whip Jefferson Moss, R-Saratoga Springs each having been re-elected to the sides of Wilson. Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, replaced Rep. Val Peterson, R-Orem, as Deputy Majority Whip.

“The confidence of my fellow representatives is humbling,” Wilson said in a statement. “I have never been more motivated to serve or more focused on leading my colleagues as we meet the challenges and opportunities of the years ahead.”

“I am honored and thrilled to be part of this leadership team,” Lisonbee said in a statement. “My colleagues have placed great trust in me and I look forward to getting down to business and making the most of this opportunity.”

The Chamber’s leadership team will serve for the next term, which ends in January 2025.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion