Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, left, and Morgan Philpot express their support for Thomas Wright just prior to him getting over 83 percent of the vote as chairman as the Utah Republican Party Central Committee GOP gathered at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus. Wright was elected to fill out the remainder of the term of Dave Hansen, who is stepping down to run the re-election campaign of Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Utah GOP names new leadership
Politics » State panel elects Thomas Wright, who has headed S.L. County activities.
First Published Jan 22 2011 12:03 pm • Last Updated May 04 2011 06:31 am

Sandy • The state Republican Central Committee on Saturday elected Thomas Wright as the party’s new chairman.

Wright, chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party, replaces Dave Hansen, who announced in December he would resign to work on Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s re-election campaign.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

At the meeting’s start, Hansen pleaded for civility, "to make sure we all present proper decorum." The election itself was matter-of-fact and earnest, with only a couple of the losing candidates poking at President Barack Obama or oppressive government.

In his remarks Saturday, Wright said he raised a lot of money, got 40,000 people to vote by mail, and was proud to see the Salt Lake County Council return to a Republican majority.

Pledging to raise $1 million for GOP candidates "and to beat that rascal Jim Matheson," Wright invoked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech from April 1968 that to serve, "you only need a heart full of grace."

"We’re all good people," Wright said. "We all want Republicans to win."

The Central Committee meeting drew 140 credentialed members to the meeting at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus in Sandy. Hansen, Vice Chairwoman Kitty Dunn and Secretary Christy Achziger officially resigned as of the meeting.

Achziger was elected party vice chairwoman and Dana Dickson is the new party secretary. The officers will serve until the Republican organizing convention in June.

Hansen leaves a party that is essentially broke, having exhausted its resources in the November election that made Republicans an even stronger force in the already blood-red Beehive State.

His return to Hatch’s re-election campaign, an operation he managed in 2004, drew attention last year when The Salt Lake Tribune reported Hansen had been receiving $5,000 a month from Hatch’s campaign, even though he had said he would stop being paid by the senator when Hansen was elected state party chairman a year earlier. Hansen stopped taking the payments last summer, said Ivan DuBois, executive director of the Utah Republican Party.

story continues below
story continues below

Hansen called the money a bonus for previous work, but other Republicans called the payments inappropriate.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.
    Affiliates and Partners