SALT LAKE CITY — Former longtime Utah Democratic Party executive director Todd Taylor died in his sleep Monday night at age 46.
Utah Democrats called Taylor as an icon in local and national politics. He was the longest running executive director in the party’s history, having served 17 years until stepping down in 2011. His successor, Matt Lyon, described Taylor in as a compass, advisor, mentor and wiseman who will be greatly missed.
Taylor was recently working as a senior political and strategic advisor for the party.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, House Minority Leader David Litvak, D-Salt Lake, said Democratic state lawmakers had “heavy hearts” over the passing of Taylor.
“He cannot and will not be replaced,” Litvak said.
Taylor became interested in politics after a career as a chiropractor and advocating for the Utah Chiropractic Association. He was always active in political campaigns, working running campaigns for J. Dell Holbrook for Davis County Commission and Kem Gardner for governor in 1992.
“Todd Taylor was the soul of the Utah Democratic Party,” said Jim Dabakis, party chairman. “His leadership, vision and dry sense of humor will be remembered and honored as long as we have Democrats in Utah.”