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Washington • Former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson has been tapped as the new chief executive officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents not-for-profit, member-owned electric co-ops.

Matheson, a conservative seven-term Democrat who left Congress in 2015 and served as a principal at the lobbying firm of Squire Patton Boggs, will take over as CEO in July, the association said. In a statement issued by the co-op, Matheson said that he is excited to build on the organization's record of service to its members.

"I am honored to be associated with this member-driven organization that has a strong reputation for quality and integrity," Matheson said. "I look forward to working collaboratively with all of the cooperative community as we look to the future."

Because the co-op gig is full-time, Matheson will be leaving Squire Patton Boggs, he said in an email.