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Michael Kent Winder (born January 27, 1976) is an American businessman, author, and politician. He was the mayor of West Valley City, Utah between 2010 and 2014. A Republican, he currently represents District 30 in the Utah House of Representatives, a position to which he was first elected in November 2016. He is the author of twelve published books on Utah and LDS history, including Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church. He has received criticism in the press for using false identities and undisclosed pseudonyms for city promotion, for a political attack, and for editing of the Wikipedia article about him.
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2017
|Member of the Utah House of Representatives|
from the 30th district
|Preceded by||Fred Cox|
|Mayor of West Valley City|
January 4, 2010 – January 6, 2014
|Preceded by||Dennis Nordfelt|
|Succeeded by||Ron C. Bigelow|
|West Valley City Alderman|
January , 2006 – January , 2010
|Born||January 27, 1976|
Salt Lake City, Utah
|Profession||Business executive and author|
Education and familyEdit
He holds a Masters in Business Administration and an Honors B.A. degree in History from the University of Utah. He has also completed an executive leadership program with Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Winder was Business Development Manager for West Valley City from 2000-2004, during which time he also chaired the Chamber West Economic Development Committee.
Winder founded Neptune Strategies in 2012, a marketing and development firm. During the 2016 election cycle, Neptune Strategies was paid at least $65,000 for consulting by Friends of Traditional Banking, a Super PAC.
Winder has served as a member of the state and Salt Lake County Republican Party Executive Committees, deputy campaign manager for Congressman James V. Hansen, and chair of the Research and Policy Committee for the Jon Huntsman, Jr. for Governor campaign. He is the founder of the GenX GOP Network.
He was elected to an at-large seat on the West Valley City Council in November 2005 with 71% of the vote over 12-year incumbent Barbara Thomas.
He was elected on November 3, 2009 as the seventh mayor of West Valley City, Utah, with 76% of the vote; his opponent was Kevin Fayles.
At 29, he was the youngest council person in city history, and when sworn in on January 4, 2010, at age 33, he became the youngest mayor in city history.
In 2012, Winder and former county council member Mark Crockett emerged from the Salt Lake County Republican Convention field of six to face off for the GOP nomination for county mayor. Crockett narrowly defeated Winder in the GOP primary election, 50.7% to 49.3%.
In 2016, Winder ran for the Utah State House of Representatives, defeating his Democratic opponent. He was sworn in as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives on January 1, 2017.
Author and historianEdit
An historian, he is the author of twelve published books on Utah and LDS history, including Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church. In 2005, Winder was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. to a four-year term on the Utah Board of State History, and reappointed in 2009. In 2012, he was appointed by Governor Gary Herbert to a four-year term on the Advisory Board for the Office of Museum Services.[failed verification]
Winder presented an academic paper as part of the Abraham Lincoln Sesquicentennial in 2009 and was published in the Journal of the Theodore Roosevelt Association in 2011. As mayor in 2012, he also authored the first photographic history of West Valley City for Arcadia Publishing. Winder is a past president of the Utah British Isles Association.
City- and self-promotion controversies and deceptionEdit
In 2011, Winder wrote articles promoting West Valley City for the Deseret News and KSL.com under the assumed name "Richard Burwash". The name was a pseudonym inspired by a 16th-century ancestor of Winder's. In the articles, Winder quoted himself as mayor and employed a photo of a real person, Peter Burwash, a former professional tennis player.
Winder confessed to the use of a pseudonym and said he wrote the articles because he was "frustrated that the newspaper had drastically reduced its city government coverage after layoffs last year but not its crime coverage and wanted to try to restore balance." Winder accepted a reprimand by the West Valley City Council, resigned from his job with a public relations firm, and issued a public apology to his constituents.
In 2017, he rigged a robocall system to display a false source phone number in telephone caller ID systems, causing it to appear that the calls were coming from the (private) personal cell phone of the leader of a conservative group that had sent out some mail that criticized him. This practice, known as "spoofing", is illegal. The group that his calls pretended to come from filed a complaint with the Utah Attorney General's office, but later withdrew the complaint after receiving a public apology from Winder. Winder said "I was taken aback by the mail piece, and in a knee-jerk reaction sent some calls I shouldn't have. I appreciate Evelyn and her team and look forward to a better working relationship going forward."
In 2017, Winder was also accused of secretly using multiple user accounts to edit the Wikipedia article about him, to promote his accomplishments and remove unflattering information. He refused to confirm or deny the allegation.
- John R. Winder: Pioneer, Temple Builder, Dairyman; Horizon Publishers; ISBN 978-0-88290-676-8; (1999; Hardback)
- Counselors to the Prophets; Eborn Books; ISBN 1-890718-04-1; (2001; Hardback)
- The Christmas Animals: A Children's Book illustrated by Lindsey E. Ayres; Eborn Books; ISBN 1-890718-09-2, (2002; Hardback)
- Ned Winder: The antics and adventures of a Utah Legend; with Bret R. Bassett, (2002; Paperback)
- Presiding Bishops; Eborn Books; ISBN 1-890718-10-6, (2003; Hardback)
- Utah in 2050: Glimpses of Our Future; Eborn Books; ISBN 1-890718-11-4, (2003; Hardback)
- Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church; Covenant Communications; ISBN 1-59811-452-2, (September 2007; Hardback)
- Life Lessons from Fathers of Faith: Inspiring True Stories About Latter-day Dads with Gary W. Toyn; Covenant Communications; ISBN 978-1-59811-603-8, (2010; Hardback)
- When the White House Comes to Zion with Ronald L. Fox; Covenant Communications; ISBN 978-1-60861-232-1, (2011; Hardback)
- It's Fun to Be the Mayor: A children's book illustrated by Andrea Vitali; Eborn Books; ISBN 978-1-890718-72-5; (2011; Hardback)
- Images of America: West Valley City; Arcadia Publishing; ISBN 978-0-7385-9541-2; (2012; Paperback)
- Called to Serve: Celebrating Missionary Work around the World; Covenant Communications; ISBN 978-1-62108-667-3; (2014; Paperback)
- Guy Stuff in the Scriptures; Covenant Communications; ISBN 978-1-62108-753-3; (2014; Paperback)
- "Winder touts track record in mayoral campaign". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "13 NAMED STERLING SCHOLARS". Deseretnews.com. 14 April 1994. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Mike Winder" (PDF). Hinckley Institute of Politics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-09.
- "GOP star a political force". Salt Lake Tribune. October 15, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "Forty under 40: rising stars.(Cover Story)". Accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Utah Local News". Sltrib.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- Page, Jared (15 November 2011). "Winder resigns from Summit Group firm after writing news stories under fake name". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Neptune Strategies". Utah Registries Inc. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Disbursement for allocated federal/nonfederal activity". Federal Elections Commission. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Our Leadership". Friends of Traditional Banking. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Utah Entrepreneur Program". Zion's Bank. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- [dead link]
- Jensen, Derek P. (November 9, 2004). "Victory in hand, Nordfelt makes plans for the future". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "Gems Election Results\website=Secure.slco.org". Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News". Sltrib.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- Roche, Lisa Riley (14 April 2012). "Mark Crockett, Mike Winder headed to GOP primary in county mayor's race". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- Page, Jared (10 July 2012). "Mark Crockett defeats Mike Winder in vote tally, will face Ben McAdams in November for S.L. Co. mayor". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- B, Geoff (31 October 2007). "Book review: 'Presidents and Prophets'". Millennialstar.org. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Boards - Utah Division of Arts & Museums". Heritage.utah.gov. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- Arave, Lynn (19 September 2008). "Lincoln frequently worked with LDS faithful". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Home - Theodore Roosevelt Association". Theodoreroosevelt.org. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
- "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Great Britain a true friend". Deseretnews.com. 1 May 2003. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "Mayor Used Alias to Promote Town". New York Times. November 13, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Page, Jared (10 November 2011). "West Valley City mayor admits using false identity to write news stories". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
- "West Valley mayor admits writing articles". Salt Lake Tribune. November 11, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- "WVC Council openly reprimands Winder for actions with the press". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. December 6, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- "West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder resigns from public affairs job". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. November 16, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-05-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Davidson, Lee (March 14, 2017). "Mike Winder accused of manipulating Wikipedia page with multiple accounts in violation of ethics policy". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Davidson, Lee (March 12, 2017). "Winder at center of conservative infighting over online tax". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2019.