Hugh Matheson has resigned as executive director of the state Democratic Party. He'll attend the University of Utah Law School this fall.

Matheson said he planned to attend law school last year. But after friend Peter Billings Jr. won the chairmanship in a divisive campaign last June, Matheson decided to accept the executive director's job Billings offered."I planned to do it (executive director) for just a year. We decided I'd go now, in May, so that there wouldn't be a change in the (party) office in August, just a month before the primary election," Matheson said.

Billings' campaign left hard feelings among some long-time Democrats. Billings was painted as an anti-labor candidate, although he always denied that label. He beat Rep. Kelly Atkinson, D-West Jordan, for the chairmanship. Atkinson was backed by labor groups.

Matheson was criticized by some Democrats for not getting candidates to file in all legislative districts. However, he said candidate recruitment was specifically left up to county parties and most candidate slots were filled.

"It was a good experience serving as the executive director. Now I go on to another challenge. I plan to stay involved in the policy committee of the party and other activities," said Matheson.

Billings is looking for a new executive director.