Jowers says he won’t run in 2010

By By Chris Mumford

By Chris Mumford

For Hinckley Institute Director Kirk Jowers, it was the idea of sitting at a rest stop in Nephi at 2 a.m. having missed his kids’ recitals and ball games that partly dissuaded him from running for governor.

Former Gov. Mike Leavitt told Jowers to imagine that scenario when considering the time commitment involved with running for governor. After much consideration, the director decided not to run in the 2010 race to become Utah’s next governor, after having announced plans to do so earlier this month.

“Personally, I didn’t feel like it was the right time for me,” Jowers said, emphasizing that his commitment to his wife and five children, ages 5 through 15, weighed heavily on his decision not to run.

He was quick to note, however, that there are times when serving your state and country is necessary despite the attendant strains and inconveniences, citing his sister-in-law whose husband and son have both served in the armed forces as an example.

“Part of public service is sacrifice,” he said.

What helped seal his decision, he explained, was the uphill climb he faced in trying to meet with more than 3,000 Republican delegates spread throughout the state and convincing them to vote for him.

“To get past the convention is really like selling a life insurance policy,” he said.

Gov. Gary Herbert, who assumed office following Jon Huntsman Jr.’s appointment as ambassador to China, already enjoys a six-month head-start on the process of winning over delegates, having attended each of the state’s 29 county Republican conventions.
Jowers said he has considered running for higher office before. He ultimately declined to run for a congressional seat in 2008, but said that he gave the decision not to run for governor more thought. Jowers declined to specify which seat he considered running for, citing concern that it may interfere with his role placing interns as Hinckley Institute director.

And although he expressed concern that the election might not be as vigorous as it should be, with few top contenders to challenge Herbert, he considers Herbert a friend and his concern speaks more to his commitment to healthy democratic institutions than an aversion to Herbert.

“I feel comfortable in giving him a chance to lead the state,” he said.

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