Spencer Cox should win the 2020 Utah gubernatorial election by over 60% of the vote.
He’s a lock. Probably the surest bet in politics next year.
Lt. Cox is funny, passionate, intelligent, clever on social media, bald as a cue ball and from the middle part of the state. He’s loyally served Gary Herbert and hasn’t done anything completely idiotic, short of sucking up to Lin-Manuel Miranda—this can probably be forgiven.
I’ve met the man once. When I worked for the Salt Lake Tribune, we did a sports podcast with him. Cox was great. A naturally storyteller, he shared this rip-crazy story on how he was almost killed competing in a demolition derby against now-Congressman Ben McAdams. If that’s not analogy for Utah politics, then I don’t know what is.
There’s a well-trodden path to higher offices for elected officials. Start as a county commissioner, move to state representative, move to a mayoral office, and so-on and so-forth. Lt. Governors have dropped the lieutenant in Utah two times, Olene Walker and Gary Herbert. I’m certain that Spencer Cox will be the third…unless the somebody figures out how to take down the L.G.
I think I figured it out.
In the upcoming months, he’s going to continue to glad-hand throughout the state, endearing him even further to all Utahns. He’ll continue to serve competently, tweet the perfect Utah Jazz thought and attend church services. Hell, he’ll probably continue helping the homeless, bolstering the state economy and just be an all-around good guy.
But Cox has an Achilles’ heel. He likes to be a combination of Captain Cool and the smartest guy in the room. To take out Cox, you have to get him to agree to compete in a series of challenges. I’m not thinking one or three boring debates. I’m thinking more along the lines of the Greek Games from Revenge of the Nerds. He thinks he’s the leader of the Tri-Lambs, but he’s more of an Alpha Beta. And because one of the few responsibilities the Lieutenant Governor has in Utah is to preside over elections in the state, I’m sure Cox could be bullied into agree to do this.
So, GOP contenders for the nomination or whoever wins the sacrificial lamb nod from the Dems, here’s what you do. Get him to agree to the Battle Royale with Cheese. Seven challenges that will push Cox to the limit: physically, mentally, spiritually, metaphysically and transcendentally. Don’t put this matter in the hands of the voters, take him out by taking out his hubris. Let’s see if Cox has what it takes in the following events:
- Tour of Utah. The Beehive’s premier road race brings the best cyclists in the world to Utah. But can Cox ride one stage? We’ll see how well he fares the easiest stages of the race.
- Scavenger Hunt. Surprising enough, but most Utahn’s don’t know where Brigham Young is buried. But if Cox does, then he’ll know where the beginning of the Salt Lake Scavenger Hunt begins.
- Pie Eating Contest. Perfect for state fairs and could benefit a heavier candidate. Cox’s trim waist line is proof he couldn’t finish a whole pie in a week.
- HORSE. He’s buddy-buddy with Jazz but how’s his bank shot?
- Name that Tune: Sure, Cox plays a mean bass, but how well does he know his musical history? He might know the Beatles, but does he really know his Ariana Grande?
- The Best of Utah: Lightening round Q&A about the best of the state. And yes, there are correct answers. The best taco, the best trails, the best fishing holes, the best brewery, etc&. He says he loves and knows this state, but does Cox know where the best falafel sandwich is or who runs the best transmission shop? Let’s find out.
- Demolition Derby. Hell, it worked out well the first time Cox did it. I’m sure we can get him back in the car.
So, unless you want a decent, hardworking, funny guy running the state in 2020, challenge Cox to the Battle Royale. Don’t blame me later when he’s governor for the next eight years.
Ben Raskin is a bartender and writer for the Pill Mill. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. He’d kicked Cox’s butt in a pie eating contest.