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Jan Garbett Ends Campaign For Utah Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 4, 2020, Salt Lake City, UT—Republican gubernatorial candidate Jan Garbett has withdrawn her appeal to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. This action effectively ends her 2020 campaign for Governor of Utah.

“This is certainly not the outcome we worked so hard for.” Garbett said, “I am disappointed that the courts did not make Utah’s election process fair in the face of the pandemic, as so many other states have done. And of course I’m disappointed on a personal level as well—I feel I have a great deal to offer the people of this state on a great many issues. But most of all, I’m disappointed that the people of Utah are once again being denied the opportunity to have a real choice in the Governor’s race.”

Garbett continued, “We’ve learned from this experience just how hard it is for a political outsider candidate to get on the ballot in the State of Utah: it’s nearly impossible, and it’s designed to be that way. I am a person of significant but not unlimited resources, and I simply couldn’t fight the Governor, the Legislature, and the Courts all at the same time. I don’t think a person with fewer resources could ever have a chance.”

“But I am not going away! Even though my campaign was cut short by COVID-19, I got the chance to hear from Utahns about what matters to them. And those issues are too important to ignore. Going forward, I will continue my fight for the people of Utah in a different way. I will be joining forces with the non-profit group People4Utah to find ways to ease the burdens on political outsiders and moderate candidates of all parties. Our political leaders will be hearing from me!”

“It’s a travesty that no major political party in all of Utah history has ever had a female candidate for governor on their primary ballot,” said Dr. Joe Jarvis, Garbett’s Lt. Governor running mate. “I’m deeply disappointed that this shameful record will continue for another year. Jan would’ve made an excellent governor.”

Speaking together, Jan and Joe said, “We’d like to thank everyone who’s supported us over the course of this journey. If you donated, signed our petition, or even sent us an encouraging message online, thank you so very much! We’d also like to thank our talented team for their excellent work. We’ll be looking to them in the future to help us continue the good fight to make a difference for all the people of Utah.”

For media inquiries, please contact:

Daniel Friend, Press Secretary



A Letter from Candidate for Governor Jan Garbett to the People of Utah

I am one of you--a person with deep roots and values that reflect our state.  I do not relish a fight.  But my experiences since deciding to run for Governor make me feel like I need to stand up and say, “this is not right.”  Not only for me, but for all of us. 

I did not originally plan to run for Governor. On January 31st, however, I saw each and every one of the six candidates up on the debate stage publicly pledge their allegiance to President Trump. At that moment, I decided to jump into the ring.  I wanted to give people a choice for Governor that extends beyond the far right and the political establishment.

I cherish truth and the idea that our independence and liberty resides in unity. I decided to run as a non-politician.  As a woman.  As a moderate Republican.  As a person who listens and takes counsel from others.

I immediately got to work, meeting people at their doors with my team, gathering signatures.  This the way it is intended in Utah—a way for candidates to get out there and meet their constituents.  I was happy to know so many—more than 20,000 people—who were willing to sign for a non-establishment candidate like me.

But then the pandemic hit and we could not continue the door-to-door effort.  The public’s health was more important.  I stopped my in-person signature gathering effort.

I had thought Lt Governor Cox—as head of the election process—would do his duty as others in power throughout our country had.  But he decided instead to favor his own candidacy over the people’s right for a full and free choice of candidates.  Unlike other States—from New York to Oregon—Utah did not lessen candidacy requirements, nor even extend the deadline.  Cox did not step up.  He did not allow people to have the widest possible choice for Governor. 

On the one hand, I see our state leaders rightfully suspend constitutional rights of public assembly and worship, while at that same time they feign helplessness about changing candidacy requirements. The spirit of our election process—meeting people in person—was no longer possible. Our leaders knew that, but didn’t act to honors our traditions, and uphold the rights of people to a full choice of candidates on the ballot.

George Washington had lots to say about an artful and enterprising few who force their will over the people’s will. I see this today, in our own State, as our leaders hide behind election statutes of their own making.

I could accept the outcome of my candidacy if the rights of the people and our state’s values were being upheld.  But they are not.   I simply cannot stand by as people play politics to protect their own position.

The political establishment is playing games—using COVID-19 to keep an anti-establishment candidate off the ticket. 

I am left with the only avenue open to me—a lawsuit, naming Spencer Cox, as a willing participant in creating a barrier between the people and their choice.

It is not a fight I asked for.  Rather, it is a fight worth waging, inspired by George Washington who commends us to “good laws under a free government.”  I hope you will join me in claiming what is rightfully yours—a full and free choice.

Jan Garbett
2020 Republican Utah Gubernatorial Candidate

Salt Lake City


Jan Garbett is Running in the 2020 Utah Governor Race

"Serving people has been my life’s purpose. Today, I am compelled to respond to that call differently than I have before, moving from the private business and nonprofit spheres, to concentrate on serving the public as governor. In Utah, everywhere I see complex problems that have not been resolved; rather, they have been picked at in an ineffective, partisan way. I do not promise to have all the answers, but I do promise to work with others—across sectors, parties, and perspectives—and to be sensitive to policy impacts on individuals, families, businesses, and our local municipalities. While focused on immediate solutions, I will always keep your children and future in mind, knowing they will inherit the consequences of our failures and successes.

When I look at my grandchildren in light of our current coronavirus pandemic, I ask myself, “What kind of world am I leaving for them? Is it one where they can be well-prepared to live a full life…be healthy…and trust in their leaders to tell the truth and to do the right thing?”

If you strip away absolutely everything else, we are left with a few essentials—the things that support our basic needs while creating the foundation for a mutually beneficial future that supports the dignity of every living thing.

My priorities as Governor stem from those basic rights, rights that I want for our grandchildren and for all the people of Utah. To be able to Read, Breathe, and Believe.


Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, most would agree that the ability to learn is the foundation for our society. And the foundation for learning and growth is the ability to read. This is not as easy as it sounds -- especially when we have a teacher shortage due to low teacher pay and overfilled classrooms. As Governor, I will secure the State of Utah’s future by investing in education for our children. My administration will put a new focus on education that has been eroded over the last years. Among other things, I will increase per-pupil spending by 50 percent through a combination of budget reallocation and tax reform and pay teachers competitively.

But this emphasis on education isn’t just for children. I can remember when, during the 2008 recession, my husband and I had to re-educate and reskill ourselves to avoid losing our business. As we taught ourselves how to read Utah's new economic reality, we found a niche that Garbett Homes could fill. Many Utahns today are in the same situation, in Salt Lake City and in rural areas. Whether a job has been replaced by new technology or a business has been upended by a new reality, adults must continually re-educate and reskill themselves. My administration will make sure that hardworking Utahns don’t get left behind in our rapidly changing world by providing them opportunities to reinvent themselves for new success.


One of my top priorities as Governor is to make sure that every Utahn can breathe clean air again — in my mind, this is a basic right of every citizen. My administration will treat air pollution in the state as the serious public health problem that it is, fully embracing the Utah Roadmap to reduce air pollution 50 percent by 2026 and investing in public transportation infrastructure that will allow more Utahns to commute without cars.

In other health issues, I will rely on my Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Joe Jarvis, a man with many years of public health experience. It is our primary priority to learn from our recent COVID-19 pandemic and create a State Emergency Infectious Disease Response Plan based on sound medical science, not political expediency. We will also create a detailed policy to respond to other natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and make true changes to our obsolete and ineffective healthcare system so that all can get the care they need. A Garbett/Jarvis gubernatorial administration will help us all breathe easier during emergencies, and breathe cleaner air every day. We will work to make healthcare better, simpler, and cheaper for everyone in the great State of Utah.


Truth has become something of a rare commodity in today’s partisan politics. As Governor, you will always know where I stand, and I will tell you the truth. In this way, I can help to restore Utahns’ trust in the integrity of our leaders. They can be confident that Utah's elected officials will strive to do the right thing for the right reasons, not for political posturing or personal gain. I will formulate and act upon policy based on facts, science, and expertise — making Utah an example that the rest of the country will recognize. My administration will prove with deeds, not words.

I have lived in this state all my life, currently residing in Salt Lake City, and have deep roots and friends in all parts of Utah. In honor of those wide-ranging connections, I promise to be sensitive and listen to the needs of families, local business, and people at all walks of life--in our rural, suburban, and urban centers. It is only by listening and responding to you that I, as your governor, can restore your trust in our state. You can be assured that I will always put people above the political establishment.

Please vote for me, Jan Garbett, and my running mate Dr. Joe Jarvis in the Utah Republican Primary Election on June 30, 2020!

Jan Garbett
2020 Republican Utah Gubernatorial Candidate
Salt Lake City

Jan Garbett is fighting to stay in the 2020 Governor Race. Donate now to help!

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