Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: What will new Utah speaker mean for the state?

Published: Sunday, Nov. 14 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon's campaign against Gov. Gary Herbert irritated Republican lawmakers. Will there be retribution against the county in the upcoming session?

Webb: Corroon won't be a popular guy on Capitol Hill, and won't be the guest of honor at the Inaugural Ball. Herbert took Corroon's attack very personally. However, Republicans now enjoy a majority on the County Council, so it will be up to the Republicans in county leadership positions, along with business and education leaders, to see that the county isn't stomped on in the upcoming session.

Pignanelli: Nah. The legislature has other issues with the County (i.e. its relevancy in the valley of wall-to-wall cities).

During the election, some Republican operatives grumbled that Herbert didn't respond aggressively enough to Corroon's attacks, and the door is open for a strong conservative to challenge Herbert in 2012. Is this still a possibility?

Pignanelli: Herbert's capture of 63 percent and Salt Lake County in the 2010 election will dissuade most opponents. However, Chaffetz (who received 73 percent of the vote) will not be so easily intimidated in his investigation of pursuing the office. He remains Utah's most popular official, and would be a strong contender.

Webb: Herbert had an enormous win. His strategy of not responding was absolutely right. Assuming he governs well without major blunders, he's in great shape to fend off any challenges within (or without) the party.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. E-mail: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. E-mail: frankp@xmission.com.

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