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Three Utah gubernatorial candidates announce running mates

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SALT LAKE CITY — Jan Garbett changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat Monday before she was announced as Democrat gubernatorial candidate Vaughn Cook's running mate.

The two had never met in person until Monday morning.

Garbett's husband, a Republican, said he would not be changing his affiliation.

"We'll be a mixed family," he said with a smile.

Cook was one of three candidates for Utah governor to announce their pick for lieutenant governor Monday.

"I did start out as a Democrat," Garbett said. When her husband, Bryson, ran for the state Legislature as a Republican, she changed her views. Now, she's ready to switch back because the Republican Party "is not the party of 30 years ago."

"I want everyone here to know that I am not the only woman in this election year that has switched parties. You all know that Hillary Clinton switched parties herself," Garbett said.

Democrat Mike Weinholtz announced Kim Bowman as his running mate and candidate for lieutenant governor Monday.

Bowman is a division manager at University of Utah Health Sciences and was formerly an attorney.

"Don't hold that against me please," he joked Monday in the state Capitol.

Bowman was running for the Salt Lake County Council but withdrew from the campaign Monday to file as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

"With my Salt Lake County Council campaign, my vision of improving the lives of Utah families was focused on one county. By joining Mike’s campaign, that vision expands to all 29 counties in Utah,” Bowman said.

Weinholtz said he selected Bowman because of his passion and because "he's the only guy that has more energy than me and can outwork me."

Republican Jonathan Johnson was the third candidate to announce his running mate Monday.

Robyn Bagley, founder and principal of Career Paths High in Kaysville, will bring a new perspective and momentum to his campaign as his running mate, Johnson said.

Johnson and Bagley focused on education during the announcement and expressed their intention to put education decisions into the hands of parents.

"We want to empower parents and provide them with options, but more importantly, to make our solutions local," Bagley said.

"I have learned that managers manage within the status quo," Bagley said. "Strong leaders look right in the eye of the existing state of affairs, challenge the situation, and take us to new and better places. While Herbert may ask you, ‘Why risk it?’ I respond, ‘Utah, don’t settle.’”

Gov. Gary Herbert is running with current Lt. Governor Spencer Cox.

Two other gubernatorial candidates, Republican Carlos Tavares Jr. and Republican Nate G. Jensen have not yet declared running mates.

Email: elarson@deseretnews.com