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James Roberts has been named executive director of the State Democratic Party, succeeding Hugh Matheson, who resigned in May to attend law school.

Roberts joined the party staff in January as director of development, overseeing the Legislative Ball - the state party's largest fund-raiser each year - and other special events.He was employed by Parsons, Behle and Latimer as a research associate. Prior to that, he worked for Harris and Love Advertising. Roberts has been active in the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee.

Roberts said he'll build on Matheson's programs. "Most Utahns aspire to the same beliefs as the Democratic Party, they just don't realize it."

Jim Humlicek, a Nebraskan who has worked on numerous federal campaigns joins the party as director of candidate services.Humlicek worked on the National Democratic Party's senate and congressional campaign committees and on Richard Gephart's 1988 presidential campaign.