SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has won his race to serve his first full term in office.
Herbert had faced Democratic challenger Peter Cooke and was the heavy favorite in a state that has not elected a Democratic governor since Scott Matheson in 1980. Cooke is a retired Army general.
The 65-year-old Herbert became governor in 2009 when then-Gov. Jon Huntsman joined the Obama administration as the ambassador to China. He served out the remainder of Huntsman’s term and was seeking a full term.
He and Cooke clashed on issues including energy, health care and education. Herbert has vowed to fight the Obama administration on health care and to push for more energy exploration on federal land that makes up two-thirds of the state. He wants Utah to take over management of many of those lands by 2014.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.