Monday, April 04, 2011
Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland Announces Future Plans
Just months prior to his election as the Chair in 2005, Holland had spent much of the 2004 campaign organizing political activities in Western battleground states like Colorado and Arizona. Holland said, “The Rocky Mountain region has become fertile ground for Democrats at all levels, and I am looking forward to hitting the campaign trail once again. I am convinced that the higher voter turnout surrounding a Presidential campaign will have a positive impact on Democrats both in Utah and throughout the Western United States.” Holland said, “I’ll see everyone on the campaign trail.”
Wayne Holland (State Party Chair from 2005 until 2011) has provided stability to Utah Democratic leadership and is among the longest serving Democratic Party Chairs in Utah history joining John Klas (1968-1976) and Meg Holbrook (1997-2003) in serving three or more terms. There have been five State GOP Chairs during Holland’s terms in office including Joe Cannon, Enid Greene, Stan Lockhart, Dave Hansen and Thomas Wright.
Since taking office in 2005, Holland has been appointed to serve on the Democratic National Committee’s powerful Rules and Bylaws committee by DNC Chair Tim Kaine, and was recently elected to the DNC Executive Committee. Holland has helped the National Party implement DNC Chair Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy” and DNC Chair Kaine’s “Organizing for America” in Utah.
Holland is well-known in political circles for his fundraising prowess and his unprecedented success in consistently out-raising the Utah Republican Party over the past two election cycles. He has increased the number of staff, the size and capabilities of the Party’s headquarters, and managed to take the Party successfully through the Great Recession that has been devastating to many non-profit organizations in Utah.
Under the leadership of Holland, Congressman Jim Matheson has won three re-elections, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon was re-elected, nine of the 17 Democratic members of the State House were elected for the first time to their current State House seat, as were six of the seven Democratic members of the State Senate, and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was first elected to his current job. Democrats had their best showing in a U.S. Senate race in 18 years and a Presidential contest in 12 years with a majority of Utah voters in Salt Lake County supported a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 for the first time since the 1960’s. At the high point Democrats briefly controlled the Salt Lake County Council for the first time in its short history, and there were 22 Democratic members of the State House. Women now make up the majority of Democrats elected to the legislature with 53% in the House and 57% in the Senate.
“Serving as Chairman of the State Party has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. The past six years have been eventful working on public policy issues like the school voucher fight, and building relationships with great leaders like Jim Matheson, Peter Corroon and Ralph Becker. I have to thank the United Steelworkers for providing me with the flexibility to do this work. I owe a debt of gratitude to the working men and women of Utah that are a part of organized labor. They were constantly in my thoughts as I tried to make a better community for all of us,” remarked Holland.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said, “Wayne has had incredible successes over the past six years. He has built a party infrastructure, which puts Utah Democrats on the right path for success in our future.”
Nikki Norton, State Director for the President’s grassroots organization Organizing for America said, “Wayne has been instrumental in the success of Organizing for America here in Utah. His support of the President has been unwavering – it has helped provide important resources to Utah candidates.”
The filing deadline for candidates for Democratic State Party office will be the “Call to Order” of the first county convention of the year. This is currently scheduled for April 19, 2011 at 5:30 PM with the commencement of the Washington County Democratic Party Organizing Convention. The Utah State Democratic Party will be selecting new officers -- including a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer -- at the organizing convention to be held on July 16, 2011. The location has yet to be determined.