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AN EASY CALL FOR OFFICIAL IN UTAH COUNTY

SHARE AN EASY CALL FOR OFFICIAL IN UTAH COUNTY

By the time he arrived at commission meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Utah County Commissioner Gary Herbert was already declaring victory.

"I went out on a limb and projected myself the victor," he joked.Herbert, who ran unopposed in Tuesday's election, said he knew he had won the election after he voted for himself about 8 a.m. Herbert, 49, Orem, has held a commission seat since 1990.

Actually, due to an error in the ballot printing, the man elected by Utah County voters Tuesday was Gary H. Herbert. The real commissioner, Gary R. Herbert, said he found out about the mistake a couple of weeks ago but decided not to make a ruckus about it.

"I might have been more worried if I were running against someone," Herbert said.

Mixed-up middle initials aside, Herbert enjoyed Election Day because he didn't have to wonder if he would be looking for another job next month.

"It really has been nice just to sit back and worry about county issues and not have to campaign," he said. "Campaigning can be very difficult and stressful."

Herbert already campaigned during the primary, in which he defeated fellow Republican Jim Larsen of Mapleton, 61 percent to 39 percent.

Although he hasn't said if he'll run again in 2000, Herbert's lack of opposition may already have spoiled him.

"I could do this every election," he said. "This would be great."