South Salt Lake Mayor Jim Davis took himself out of the race for Democratic Party chairman Tuesday.
Davis said that up until last weekend "I'd talked myself into running."But over the weekend he had a long talk with his family and decided not to seek the post. Davis was Ted Wilson's lieutenant governor running mate last year - a gubernatorial race that consumed about six months. He and Wilson lost a close contest to Gov. Norm Bangerter.
"We have a change of government election this year in South Salt Lake, and I have to run for mayor. That would mean four races in a year, including running for party chairman, and my family and I just decided that's too much."
Peter Billings Jr., a local attorney, is considering running for chairman. He'll announce his plans this weekend, he said Tuesday.
Billings is supported by former Gov. Scott M. Matheson and Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah. Davis said he didn't get out of the race because those two party leaders opposed him. "I traveled the whole state in the governor's race and had support from rank-and-file Democrats everywhere. I respect Scott and Wayne, but they didn't have any influence on my decision."
Current party chairman Randy Horiuchi has told the Deseret News that he wouldn't seek re-election if Davis ran, but may run against Billings. If he does, Horiuchi will be seeking an unprecedented third, two-year term as chairman.