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Utah Democratic Party chairman Jim Dabakis not leaving Utah

He was rumored to be leaving to lead the human rights campaign

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 11:13 p.m. MST

Newly-elected Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis.

Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — The chairman of the Utah Democratic Party says he has no intention of leaving his current post to work for the Human Rights Campaign, despite reports he was a candidate to lead the HRC.

"I am flattered and honored to have my name mentioned together with the Human Rights Campaign; however, the last six months of being the chair of the Utah Democratic Party have been the most interesting, challenging and rewarding time of my life," Jim Dabakis said in a news release.

"The association with so many Democrats across our beautiful state has been a singular honor, and I will not leave my job half done," he said. "I would rather work for free in Utah than pile up cash in D.C.

"And frankly, even though we disagree regularly (often with ferocity), it has been rewarding to work with Republican leaders in the state, like Gov. (Gary) Herbert, state Senate President (Michael) Waddoups and Republican Chairman (Thomas) Wright," Dabakis said. "Utah Republicans and Democrats have the ability to separate out the brutal, thuggish partisanship that so permeates paralysis in Washington, D.C., and concentrate on policy issues without making the politics personal or too disagreeable. This is what the people of Utah demand and deserve."

Dabakis, one of the co-founders of Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center, is the first openly gay leader of a political party in Utah. He was elected as chairman in July 2011.

"I look forward to serving the people of Utah for the next one and a half years and am confident that I will enjoy spending time in Washington County much more then in Washington, D.C.," he said.

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