Gov. Norm Bangerter, who has already promised not to run for a third term and claims to have no interest in any other race, said he supports putting limits on how long elected officials can stay in office.
But also Wednesday during the governor's monthly news conference televised on KUED Channel 7, Bangerter urged Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, to seek a fourth term in 1992 even though Garn will have been in office 18 years.Garn is being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor. And Bangerter, who served for many years in the state Legislature before being elected governor, has been talked about as Garn's successor in the U.S. Senate.
The governor met with Garn and other fellow Republican members of Utah's congressional delegation behind closed doors last week but said those possibilities weren't on the agenda.
"Jake and I kid about it a lot," Bangerter said Wednesday. He declined to detail the talks he and the senator have had about their future political plans, calling them private discussions.
Bangerter announced weeks ago that he would not seek a third term in 1992. The governor also said he does not expect to run for another office, including the Senate.
"I've probably run my last political race," he said. "I have no intention at this point in time of running for the Senate. I think Jake ought to run again even though we both believe in term limitation."
Bangerter said it would be "dumb" for Garn give up the seniority he has earned in the Senate under the present system that allows congressional representatives to serve as many terms as voters will allow.
He said he would like to see some limitation put on the length of time elected representatives can serve to help make sure they don't become career politicians.
"I support term limitation, not because I believe there is great abuse, but because I believe there is some abuse, particularly at the congressional level," the governor said.
"Being a career public servant ought to be the end result," he said, noting that many elected representatives, especially those who serve in Washington, D.C., lose touch with their constituencies.
The governor said he hasn't noticed any change in the way he is treated since he announced his decision not to run again. "I don't look for any honeymoon - or a divorce," he said.
Bangerter endorsed campaign reforms. "We've called for more disclosures, both from candidates and lobbying groups," he said. "People need to know where money comes from, and they need to know before the election."
But he said he doesn't want election laws changed so that political independents can't participate in primary elections. "I think we need to be careful about disenfranchising people," the governor said.
The state Republican Party has proposed a number of campaign and election reforms that will be debated by lawmakers during the 1991 session of the Legislature, which begins next month.