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Greene elected Utah GOP chief

Former congresswoman will serve until summer

Published: Sunday, Feb. 11 2007 12:05 a.m. MST

Enid Greene is back atop the Utah political scene.

State Republican delegates on Saturday elected Greene to serve as party chairwoman. She had been filling in at the GOP's top leadership spot since November, when former chairman Joe Cannon resigned to become editor of the Deseret Morning News.

Now Greene will officially serve as the state party's leader until June, when state party delegates will again select leaders to serve two-year terms.

"I don't think we can wait four months before we can start planning for the next election," said Carrie Towner, who ran for vice chairwoman but was defeated by Todd Weiler, chairman of the Davis County Republican Party and a Woods Cross resident. "We have to plan now, we can't wait."

Rounding out the newly elected leadership is secretary Carrie Dickson, who ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Sherrie Swensen as Salt Lake County clerk last November.

Greene's return to the top of Utah's political scene is a far cry from the situation she was in more than a decade ago.

Back then, while serving as a freshman member of the Newt Gingrich-led GOP takeover of the U.S. House, Greene's then-husband and campaign finance manager, Joe Waldholtz, admitted to a scheme that pumped $1 million of Enid's father's money into her 1994 campaign.

She was never charged criminally, even though she said it was her idea to have Joe "trade assets" with Forrest Greene so they could pour the cash into her campaign. Joe had no assets and just put the money into the campaign.

But Greene, Forrest and her two campaign accounts paid a $100,000 Federal Election Commission fine long after she left the U.S. House in 1996. She did not run for re-election.

Since then, Greene has slowly made her way back up the state Republican ladder. She served as state party vice chairwoman four years ago and agreed to be the lieutenant governor sidekick in Nolan Karras' GOP gubernatorial bid in 2004.

The Karras/Greene ticket lost to the Huntsman/Herbert ticket in the June 2004 Republican primary, and Greene went back to being state party vice chairwoman.


E-mail: ldethman@desnews.com

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