Nine Run for Utah Democratic Party Chairman

Nine Run for Utah Democratic Party Chairman

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former Green Party candidate and two unsuccessful congressional hopefuls are among nine candidates for chairman of the Utah Democratic Party.

Thursday was the deadline for filing for party posts that will be filled at the state convention May 7. The current chairman, Donald Dunn, did not seek another term.

"I don't know that there's been a time that so many people were running for chair," Dunn said. "We have some terrific candidates."

The candidates are Craig Axford, Wayne Holland Jr., Leon Johnson, Jan Lovett, Mike Marty, Thayne Trevenen, Paul Van Dam, Tracy Van Wagoner and Nancy Jane Woodside.

Axford ran as a Green Party member for Congress, but has since rejoined the Democrats and now leads the Utah Progressive Democratic Caucus.

Holland is leader of a United Steelworkers of America local and is backed by U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson. "He can reach across a lot of constituencies in the party," Matheson said Thursday.

Lovett ran an unsuccessful campaign last year against state Rep. Merlynn Newbold, R-South Jordan.

Marty is the Summit County party chairman.

Van Dam, a former state attorney general, lost his race last year against Sen. Bob Bennett.

Dunn is personally backing Woodside, a former congressional challenger and current vice-chairwoman of the party.

"I'm supporting her because she's been a member of my team," Dunn said. "She would do a fantastic job as chair."

Running for vice chairman are: former Green Party member Laura Bonham, Billie Larson, Rob Miller, Colt Smith and Josh Ewing, a former spokesman for Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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