Sunday, February 9 2014, 11:27 PM MST
Person 2 Person: Becky Lockhart
Utah's 2014 legislative session is underway, and for one woman at the front of it all, this isn't her only job. Becky Lockhart is a wife, mother of three, and Utah's Speaker of the House. Family comes first for Becky, but during the legislative session shes committed to serving Utah. To eliminate distractions, she stays at a hotel for the entire session and focuses on government issues.
In this week's Person 2 Person Shauna Lake sits down with this mother, wife, and politician as she deals with the balancing act of life.
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lakes interview with Becky Lockhart.
SHAUNA LAKE: Becky thank you so much for doing this interview with us.
BECKY LOCKHART: Glad to be here.
SHAUNA LAKE: I so appreciate it. I just want to know a little bit more about who you are as a person. I know that's a very general question, but maybe start with who you are as a mother. I know you have three children right?
BECKY LOCKHART: I do. I have three children, two girls and then a boy. My kids are just about grown up. Our son is almost 18 and yeah. So were almost done with that part of, you know, parenthood.
SHAUNA LAKE: Did they play a role at all with you getting into politics? Wanting maybe a better life for them or state?
BECKY LOCKHART: You know they were so young when I first got involved. I think in a lot of ways they've made great sacrifices in order for me to serve, but in a lot of ways I think also they've had benefits.
SHAUNA LAKE: You talk about a sacrifice for your family, and I think every working mom does that juggling act a little bit. How did you do it all these years?
BECKY LOCKHART: You know, I don't know. You know how sometimes it is you ask a busy person, How do you get it all done? And they kind of look at you like, I don't know. It just happened. Right? You just get it done. You just have to prioritize and get everything done and sometimes things don't get done, but those probably weren't the important things, right? They're put off for another day.
SHAUNA LAKE: Did it help you Becky that you felt like you were really doing something so important? That was really making a big difference?
BECKY LOCKHART: Sure, policy. I'm really a policy wonk at heart. I love to sit around and debate ideas and talk about philosophy, political philosophy. Deep down that's who I am, and that's what I really love to do so its a lot of fun.
SHAUNA LAKE: I would think that you would have to be very thick skinned to do what you do. Were you thick skinned before you got this job?
BECKY LOCKHART: No and I wasn't comfortable with speaking publicly. Ive made a complete transition in that area. I was very resistant to standing up in front of people and giving a speech or in a religious sense, saying a prayer in church you know those kind of that really wasn't my thing.
SHAUNA LAKE: What scared you about that?
BECKY LOCKHART: I don't know. It just wasn't me. I just wasn't comfortable with it. But now, sixteen years later, you cant shut me up.
SHAUNA LAKE: You put yourself in that position though and people will throw darts. Are you comfortable with that or does it hurt sometimes?
BECKY LOCKHART: Well sometimes it hurts. If people want to have a discussion, a debate about policy, I'm all over it. You know I'm there, and I'm open to saying oh maybe they're right on that. You know I'm not completely stuck in my ways that I cant recognize a good idea or a suggestion or a different way of looking at things, but its when it gets personal. That can be very hurtful, very hurtful, but you do grow the thick skin.
SHAUNA LAKE: How do you protect your kids from it? I think that's painful.
BECKY LOCKHART: It is painful. We've tried to protect our kids from a lot of that, but obviously they hear things. They read things. They see things. Its been a teaching experience in a lot of ways for us with our kids. To teach them the right way to deal with adversity and the wrong way, and sometimes the people around them deal with it in the wrong way, but that doesn't give them an excuse to do it wrong themselves.
SHAUNA LAKE: You were the first woman speaker. There was so much media coverage about your appointment and your position. What did that feel like for you especially here in Utah?
BECKY LOCKHART: It was kind of uncomfortable for me actually because I didn't run to be speaker for that reason. I don't run for office and I didn't, you know vote for me because I'm a woman. I'm a woman. I think that brings very positive and different perspectives and useful and critical views and things to the process. So I was a little uncomfortable with all the attention, you're the first woman speaker.
SHAUNA LAKE: So you didn't look at it as a compliment necessarily?
BECKY LOCKHART: Well no I saw it as a compliment. I just wasn't all that comfortable with the attention in terms of the historic nature of it all because that's not why I did it. But Ive come to terms with it. I understand that it is historic, and I am in a lot of ways a role model. Its a lot of pressure to be a good example, and to be that role model in a lot of ways to young women, but Ive learned to be more comfortable with it.
SHAUNA LAKE: What do you think it is about you that makes you the speaker that you are and the politician that you are?
BECKY LOCKHART: I was always a person well here's an interesting story. So you know in your senior class you always have the most likely to succeed, and the most likely to be president and all that? So in our class we had an award that was the most stubborn. And I won that award.
SHAUNA LAKE: Oh. And was this a good thing for you or not so much?
BECKY LOCKHART: Well I thought it was not a good thing initially because ironically, I'm a republican right? But ironically my face is forever on the head of a donkey. Interestingly because I'm the most stubborn, and initially I thought well that was kind of insulting. Why would my classmates feel this way about me? But as the years have gone by, Ive seen it more as a compliment because I was always very self-assured. I knew what I believed. I knew what was going on. I knew what my standards were, and that was it.
SHAUNA LAKE: So you talk about the need to be involved. What happens next for you Becky?
BECKY LOCKHART: I don't know.
SHAUNA LAKE: Do you want to run for Governor perhaps?
BECKY LOCKHART: That is out there. There's no denying that people are talking about that, and there's no denying that I haven't thought about it. I'm a pretty straight up person. Yeah Ive thought about it. Have I decided? No. I'm trying to be the speaker I'm trying to get through this session. I'm trying to do the best job that I can do being a representative of my district, and well see what happens.
SHAUNA LAKE: It's been so nice to get to know you better Person 2 Person.
BECKY LOCKHART: Thank you so much.
SHAUNA LAKE: Appreciate it.
-Written and Produced by Leslie Tillotson
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)