It was early October 1988, and Norm Bangerter and I were knee-to-knee in the cramped quarters of a small twin-engine plane winging its way over the spectacular red and rocky landscape of Southern Utah, on our way back to Salt Lake City after a long day of campaigning.
He was the embattled incumbent governor of a state in economic turmoil, 10 points behind Democratic challenger Ted Wilson in the polls and fighting a third-party challenge from Merrill Cook, who had broken from Republican ranks. I was a young reporter assigned to his campaign, and I was about to ask him a question that, in retrospect, revealed a lot about him.
“What other politician inspires you politically?”
When I reminded him that Truman was a Democrat, he said he wouldn’t have voted for him. When Bangerter came of age, he cast his first vote
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Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist of the Deseret News. He has 32 years experience as a reporter, editor and editorial writer in Oklahoma, New York City, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. He also has been an adjunct journalism professor at Brigham Young and Weber State universities.