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The Utah Republican Party has hired Bryan Smith, whose background is in political marketing, as its new executive director.

Smith replaces Julian Babbitt, who returned to California to be executive director of the Orange County Republican Party.

"Bryan is a dedicated leader who will complement the existing talent in our party's organization," Utah GOP Chairman James Evans said. "His background in both the private sector and state politics will help ensure the advancement of Republican ideals and our continued success as a party."

A Utah native, Smith lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and two children. He worked for the state Legislature and GOP groups across the country.

Robert Gehrke