Adam Robertson, R-Provo, is a cougar through and through. He met his wife on campus, graduated from BYU and lived just south of campus for the first few years of their marriage.
Twenty-one years, eight children, a business degree and a master’s degree later, Provo elected Robertson as the representative of District 63 of the Utah Legislature, which covers all of BYU campus and housing south of campus.
Robertson was sworn into office at the Utah Capitol on Jan. 16.
“With any big event in your life, you feel a mixture of emotions,” Robertson said, speaking of the election. “The biggest emotion I felt was humility. It’s a great responsibility to represent 37,000 people, and to represent them well.”
Provo elected Robertson in a special election after former Rep. Dean Sanpei stepped down to accept a job in Colorado.
Sanpei, who had served as a representative since 2010, is more than just a predecessor for Robertson — he is a neighbor and personal friend.
“He’s done a fantastic job. I’ve worked with him for years, and have been very pleased with the work he’s done at the state level of representing the community,” Robertson said of Sanpei.
Sanpei said he feels confident the district will be in good hands with Robertson.
“Adam is intelligent, hard-working, but above all else I know him to be a man of extreme integrity,” Sanpei said. “He will always be about doing what is right for our community, our children and our state.”
Robertson’s wife of 21 years, Tina Robertson, said the experience is a little bit daunting and new for the family, but her husband has her undivided support.
“When he said that he wanted to run for this, I knew that he was extremely capable and knowledgeable, and I knew that he would be an excellent representative if he won,” said Tina. “He’s very great at whatever he does — he puts in his whole heart and soul.”
Robertson said his political involvement began with general concern, but increased through his professional career. He builds radar systems for drones and frequently works with high-ranking officials from the Department of Defense.
“These are people who are real patriots,” Robertson said. “They’re out there to protect the basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and those core things are what I believe as well.”
Along with preserving basic freedoms, one of Robertson’s major political priorities is education.
Robertson and his wife have eight children spread throughout the Utah educational system from elementary school to college.
“That broad background with my children involved at all levels of Utah education gives me a unique perspective,” Robertson said. “I experience, in a very real way, the cost of college as I’m helping my children try to pay for their education.”
Several areas in District 63 are covered almost entirely by student housing. Robertson said student involvement in state politics is “critical.”
“I love to see the passion of students and have their involvement,” Robertson said. “Having been a student at BYU, I understand the intensity of school, but it’s also important that they take time to understand government and its effect on their lives.”