Local Heroes, Politics

Our Accessible Governor

Click to see original imageGov. Calvin L. Hampton already has won a special place in Utah history as the only three-term governor and the very fact of his three election victories is a testimony of his popularity.

Mr. Rampton, a man of indefatigable energy whose day often starts with a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. and ends with a night meeting, has other distinctions also. One of these is his ability and willingness as a speaker.

From the start of his first term he has made it a policy to accept as many speaking engagements and public appearances as possible across the state – at conventions, symposiums, educational conferences, chamber of commerce functions, schools, political rallies.

Besides such assignments he likes to visit each county at least once a year as a “listener” to county commissioners, school people, mayors, etc.

In all these appearances he possibly has become Utah’s most widely-traveled governor, not to mention the mileage he logs as chairman of the National Governors Conference.

Incidentally, in the latter role he will be heading a delegation of chief state executives in an official visit t0 Russia in May. Last year he and other governors visited China.

Governor Rampton will visit Provo Tuesday to address BYU political science students and attend to other business.

He spoke at Heber Thursday night before the Wasatch Chamber of Commerce. Recently he was at Orem to break ground for the first building of the Utah Technical College’s new campus. Not long ago he even addressed a grade school class in Pleasant Grove.

The governor’s rapport with children was illustrated last year during a two-day visit to Kanab. As he lunched at a cafe, a small girl kept peeking at him from around a corner. Mr Rampton inquired, found the youngster was a daughter of one of the waitresses and a kindergarten student. In the conversation that followed with the little girl, he agreed to accompany her to her elementary school the next day for the “show and tell” hour – which he did to the delight of everyone.

Often the governor’s wife Lucy Beth accompanies him – and she is one of his greatest public relations assets as she shows keen interest in state and community problems and mingles with the people in her congenial way.

Governor Rampton tries to make himself available at as short a notice as possible to the press as a way of communicating with the people. It took only minutes for a Herald reporter to arrange an appointment with him for an interview for our Progress Edition.

In the interview the governor stressed the rapidly growing job market in Utah and counseled young people: “Your future is here – this is where you should stay.”

This advice grows out of one of Mr. Rampton’s continuing “pet projects”‘ – to encourage industrial growth to strengthen the economy by providing jobs and payrolls.

Considerable progress has been made in this effort under his administration – and in this the public as well as Mr. Rampton can take pride.

In a day when many political figures seem to isolate themselves from the public, Calvin Rampton has tried hard to make himself accessible. The people should take special note of this.