‘The Rundown’: From ‘Coxadoodledoo’ to Dwayne ‘The Cox’ Johnson, here are your best suggestions for Gov. Spencer Cox’s new name

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From ‘Coxadoodledoo’ to Dwayne ‘The Cox’ Johnson, here are your best suggestions for Gov. Spencer Cox’s name change

Yesterday I told you about the letter Gov. Spencer Cox shared on Twitter from a “concerned citizen” demanding he change his “obscene” last name.

I also asked readers for suggestions for a new name for Utah’s governor should he decide to change. The submissions ranged from juvenile to disgusting and hilarious to thoughtful and brilliant. Here are some of the best.

  • “To promote Utah’s high-tech image, I propose “Spencer Dot Com.” — Gary Hansen

  • “The easiest change would be Spencer Johnson. Or he could change his given name to Dick. But even better would be Dwayne ‘The Cox’ Johnson.” — Ben Ling

  • “I think the governor should change his name to “coxcomb” and thus its meaning would be removed from an obscenity to either the head of a rooster, a flower, or a geographical feature just south of Torrey, Utah.” — Gene Fitzgerald, Emeritus Professor of Russian, University of Utah

  • “My suggestion for Governor Cox’s new name?  Governor Rooster. Near the end of the 18th century, according to linguist Benjamin Bergman in his book “What the F,” American ministers coined the name rooster for male chickens because the accepted noun, cock, was increasingly being used for the male anatomy.” — Brad Ericson

  • How about the surname ‘Begay’? It’s common in the Native American community in the West. Changing it to that should really ruffle some feathers.” — Jim Ranes

  • “Something bright and cheerful like..um Coxadoodledo!” — Gary Griffiths

  • “I have lately become fond of the name Wigglesworth.” — Lawson LeGate

  • “Many Utahns will suggest the obvious Cox replacement, Dix. Tribune readers appreciate more subtlety, however, so it’s got to be Johnson.” — Tom Horton

  • “The governor and I are both descended from a Utah Pioneer named Jehu Cox, who had a son named Henderson. Henderson Cox served in the Mormon Battalion and was murdered in California as he was on his way to Utah to meet his family. He deserves a little recognition, don’t you think? (You’ll find Henderson’s name on the monument at the state capitol.) So the gov should change his surname to Henderson. Then the governor and the lieutenant governor would have the same last name, and we could all get completely confused.” — Dan Bammes

I also got a very thoughtful email from Wayne Fagg that was so good, I’m going to reprint it in its entirety below.

I stand in solidarity with the Governor. As a fourth-generation Utahn, whose grandfather and father were both born on Highland Drive in Salt Lake, I take umbrage that there are those who think we all have to be “Christensens” (my mother-in-law’s maiden surname) or “Hansen” (my wife’s maiden surname) and stand up for the minority.

My last name is “Fagg.” It rhymes with bag, tag, rag, slag...etc. You get the picture. I am a 1979 graduate of Provo High School. Was I teased as a young boy? Yes. Was I maligned as a teen? Of course. Have jokes been told about me by my teachers, or my bosses, or my ecclesiastical leaders? Of course! Who among us walks through life free from scorn? Or ridicule, or asinine sophomoric one-sided jests...? Oh, you have? Oh. Hmm.

Who hasn’t thought, “You know I was adopted and my last name would have been Carlson?”

But...and it’s a big one. My Dad, Floyd W. Fagg. is the single greatest man I have ever met. He accomplished more carrying that name than most “Olsons” or “Shaeffer’s” or “Bills” could ever hope to achieve...

So, I wear it proudly. And, I stand by Governor Cox. Be proud. Stand strong. Be the best Cox you can be for every Utahn!!

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning :

🗳 It’s primary election day. Here’s what you need to know before casting your ballot. [Tribune]

🏛 The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is set for final passage in the U.S. Senate later this morning. [AP]

🏛 Democrats rolled out their $3.5 trillion budget package that will fulfill much of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. [NYT]

😷 Salt Lake County Health Department director Angela Dunn says she won’t ask for the county council to implement a mask mandate, even though the rising number of COVID-19 cases, saying she doesn’t want to see “that drama to play out publicly.” [Tribune]

🦠 The COVID-19 delta variant is sending more children to the hospital. Almost 94,000 children were diagnosed with the virus in the last week in the U.S. [NYT]

🦠 There are only 8 ICU beds available in Arkansas as COVID-19 infections increase. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]

💉 Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said state employees and healthcare workers would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. [Seattle Times]

💉 The Pentagon says all service members must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-September. Those who refuse could face a number of penalties. [Politico]

💉 Hundreds of colleges and universities require students and faculty to be vaccinated when they return to campus, but there’s a booming black market in fake vaccine cards. [AP]

⚖️ A federal judge asked prosecutors why Capitol riot defendants are paying only $1.5 million in restitution while U.S. taxpayers are covering more than $500 million in costs related to the attack. [WaPo]

👀 Lex Scott stepped down from leading the Utah Black Lives Matter Group, claiming death threats drove her to move to another state. [Tribune]

🏛 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to buy time as lawmakers move ahead with possible impeachment proceedings. [NYT]

🧑‍💻 There were almost 10 million job vacancies in the U.S. in July. Lack of affordable childcare, generous unemployment benefits, and career changes likely contribute to the worker drought. [BBC]

🏟 The 2020 Tokyo Olympics had the lowest ratings for a Summer Olympics ever. Viewership for the games tumbled 42% [WSJ]

✈️ Canada re-opened its border to fully-vaccinated Americans. [USA Today]

🤦 Anti-vaccine protesters attempted to storm a BBC building on Monday, but the news operation moved out of the facility in 2013. [Guardian]

Tuesday’s Utah news roundup


  • Is travel next in the fight over who profits from Native American culture? [Tribune]

  • University of Utah police officers are now wearing body cameras. How will that impact student privacy? [Tribune]

  • ‘One of the happiest days of her life’ was cut short. Family mourns the loss of new bride as troopers warn of dangerous driving. [Tribune]

  • Utahns, beware! Mosquitos with West Nile virus are just waiting to bite you. [Tribune]

  • Mitt Romney, Mike Lee headed in opposite directions as senate set to vote on massive roads, bridges bill. [Deseret News]

  • Cox visits Enoch to survey, discuss flood damage. [Fox 13]

  • ‘You don’t have to be a victim’: Utah County Sheriff prepares educators for active shooter situations. [KUER]


  • COVID-19 deaths in Utah exceed 2,500. The number of Utahns fully vaccinated tops 1.5 million. [Tribune]

  • Study: Residents of poorer neighborhoods got COVID at 10 times the rate of those in affluent neighborhoods. [Tribune]

  • Southern Utah widow shares story of unvaccinated husband dying of COVID-19. [Fox 13]

  • Some immunocompromised Utahns seek COVID-19 booster doses. [KUTV]


  • Environmentalists push lawsuits after impact statement released on $3 billion rail project that would quadruple Uinta Basin’s oil output. [Tribune]

  • Bad news for the West in a new international climate change report. [Deseret News]

  • When will the unhealthy wildfire smoke clear out of Utah? [Deseret News]

  • Salt Lake City shows ‘significant drop’ in water use during July. [Fox 13]

  • Even with recent rain storms, Utah remains under fire restrictions. [Utah Public Radio]

  • The Grand Canyon has always faced water problems, this year the problems are different. [Utah Public Radio]

Local government

  • ‘I can hardly look anyone in the eye’: St. George’s homeless feel shame in the conservative culture. [Tribune]

On the opinion pages

  • Valerie Novack: Housing insecurity follows us wherever we go. [Tribune]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to former state Representative Fred Cox.

Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.