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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Former Rep. Enid Greene, the ex-wife of swindler Joe Waldholtz, is running for state Republican Party vice chairwoman.
Greene, 44, her campaign committees and her father agree to pay $100,000 in civil fines levied by the Federal Election Commission in 1999 for campaign fraud violations that she blamed on her ex-husband, who had been her campaign treasurer. Waldholtz, who swindled Greene's father of $4 million, served 21 months in federal prison for bank, election and tax fraud.
The FEC said $1.8 million of Forrest Greene's money was illegally funneled into his lawyer daughter's successful 1994 election campaign. Greene dropped her re-election bid and divorced her husband following the scandal.
She is now challenging state party Vice Chairman Frank Guliuzza, but says that should not be read as preparation for a future campaign for public office.
"Anyone who knows me knows I've always been interested in politics," she said Tuesday. "I want to strengthen the state party. This does not mean I'd run for higher office someday.
"I take my life six months at a time, and now I just want to be party vice chair," she said.
She filed her application last week, just before the July 23 deadline, said GOP Executive Director Chris Bleak.
"I'm not surprised," said state Republican Party Chairman Joe Cannon. "I believe she has tremendous political skill. This is good for her to get re-engaged on the political scene."
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Meghan Holbrook said, `I'm just surprised she filed for such a junior position."
Holbrook said Utah residents are very forgiving.
"If George Bush can give up drinking, Enid can run for office again," she said. "But I don't know if she could win."
Greene has been living quietly in Salt Lake County, raising her daughter and caring for her parents. She managed the party's Salt Lake County nominating convention, raised funds for the Days of '47 Rodeo and appeared as a television pundit.
Cannon said party members will be the first to decide Greene's political future.
"She made a pretty disastrous personal mistake," Cannon said. "I don't think that reflects on her skills, her brilliance, her talent. I don't think she's going to be running for public office anytime soon. Right now, she's just running for a party office. What really matters is what 3,500 part party delegates think."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)