Gov. Spencer Cox was invited to Biden inauguration, but said obligations prevented his attendance

The Republican state leader said he couldn’t make it because of the legislative session, upcoming State of the State speech.

(Jeffrey D. Allred | Deseret News, pool) Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at the Utah state Capitol during the weekly COVID-19 press conference in Salt Lake City, Jan. 8, 2021.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox was invited to attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday but wasn’t able to travel to D.C. because of scheduling conflicts, according to a spokeswoman.

Cox, who recently celebrated his own inauguration, would have attended the presidential ceremony if not for the fact that he’s scheduled to deliver his first State of the State Address on Thursday night, spokeswoman Jennifer Napier-Pearce said.

In a tweet, Cox wrote that the start of the legislative session this week and daily vaccine distribution decisions were also factors in the decision not to attend.

“Today we celebrate a cherished cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power,” Cox said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Over the past four years, President Trump listened to Utah and we thank him for his service. As President Biden takes office, we look forward to working with him in advancing the vital interests of Utahns.”

A number of governors, including Republicans such as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, were present for Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Notably absent from the event was outgoing President Donald Trump, who boarded a plane to Florida earlier in the day.