Friday, January 07, 2005

Salt Lake City, Utah – Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., today announced that former Lt. Governor Gayle McKeachnie will stay on as the Rural Affairs Coordinator.

"I am pleased that Gayle is willing to continue working on behalf of the citizens of the state of Utah," says Governor Huntsman. "His experience speaks for itself and will provide invaluable continuity in areas that are vital to rural Utah including economic development, land use and energy issues."

"I am excited to work with Governor Huntsman and pleased with his commitment to rural Utah because rural issues impact almost every department of state government," says McKeachnie.

In addition, McKeachnie will work to put closure on some of the initiatives from the previous administration.

McKeachnie served as Lt. Governor for Governor Olene Walker. He served four terms in the Utah House of Representatives. During his tenure, he was chairman of the Rules Committee, House parliamentarian and majority whip. ouse or RepresentatiHouse He has been a practicing lawyer since 1970.

McKeachnie and his wife, Kathlene live on a farm in Vernal, Utah. They have seven children and 19 grandchildren.

3:46:04 PM    

Salt Lake City, Utah – Utah Lt. Governor Gary R. Herbert today announced his new Elections Director.  Michael Cragun will assume the senior staff level position Monday.

"Michael is uniquely qualified and Utah is lucky to have a person of this caliber," says Lt. Governor Herbert.  "His experience bridges the private sector, education and government.  He is an attorney, the former dean of a college, and a former county commissioner."

"I am honored that Lt. Governor Herbert asked me to join the team and I am excited to get to work," says Cragun. "One of my first priorities will be to implement the Help America Vote Act. The deadline is in 18-months and there is a lot of work to do."

The Lt. Governor’s elections office at the state level coordinates the elections functions statewide.  The office also certifies the votes.  It is also where candidates file to run for office, and where candidates, lobbyists and political action committees report their financial disclosures.

Cragun has served one term as Davis County Commissioner and represented the County o n numerous boards including the Wasatch Front Regional Council, the Utah Association of Counties Board of Directors and the Davis County Board of Health.

Before entering elected office, Mr. Cragun received Instructor of the Year honors from Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which owns and operates Mountain West College in Salt Lake City.  After chairing Mountain West College’s Paralegal department, he became Academic Dean.

Mr. Cragun earned a law degree from Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University.

Cragun is 39. He was born in Ogden, Utah, and raised in Boise, Idaho.

7:12:18 AM