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Montana Installs a GOP Governor; Utah’s Bangerter Starts 2nd Term

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From Associated Press

Two Republican governors were sworn in Monday, as the governor of Utah began a second term and a Canadian-born governor-elect took office in Montana.

Stan Stephens, a former Montana state senator, is the first Republican elected governor since Tim Babcock left office 20 years ago. Stephens took the oath in Helena after Allen Kolstad, a farmer-businessman from Chester and also a former state senator, was sworn in as lieutenant governor.

In Salt Lake City, Norman H. Bangerter, who barely survived a three-way gubernatorial contest in November, was sworn in for a second term as Utah’s 13th governor before a crowd of 1,400 at the Capitol Rotunda. Val Oveson, the incumbent lieutenant governor, also took the oath.

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Bangerter, 55, had trailed Democrat Ted Wilson by more than 30 percentage points in the polls last summer. He won a 40%-38% victory over Wilson with 22% of the vote going to independent candidate Merrill Cook.

Stephens, 59, told his audience at the Capitol in Helena that he assumed the job of chief executive with a “deep sense of responsibility.”

“The Montana economy has been depressed,” Stephens said. “We have endured the ravages of drought and forest fires and of being perceived negatively on the barometric scales of business and commerce.”

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