Four file in Utah attorney general race

McCullough

Reyes

Smith

Swallow

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline) - Four men, including two Republicans, are vying to be Utah's next attorney general.

As of Tuesday morning, W. Andrew McCullough, a Libertarian from Midvale; Sean D. Reyes, a Republican from Cottonwood Heights; Dee W. Smith, a Democrat from South Ogden; and John Swallow, a Republican from Sandy, were listed as candidates for state attorney general on the lieutenant governor's website.

Monday was the last day candidates could declare their intent to participate in the regular primary election, June 26. Early voting begins June 12.

McCullough, who has an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from University of Utah College of Law, ran for attorney general in 2008. He received 38,000 votes, or 4.1 percent.

He is currently the principal attorney at McCullough and Associates, focusing on First Amendment and Fourth Amendment law.

From 1979 to 1999, he was a senior partner in McCullough, Jones and Ivins in Orem. From 1973 to 1979, he was a partner in Mulliner and McCullough, also in Orem.

Reyes, who officially declared his candidacy Monday, is currently general counsel at a local media and technology company eTAGZ.

Before that, he was a partner at Parsons Behle and Latimer, one of the state's top five law firms.

In addition to his legal work, Reyes has founded several non-profit organizations for education, business and anti-fraud awareness.

"The Attorney General's Office will be best led by a substantive lawyer and leader who knows how to manage and motivate people, make sound legal and administrative decisions, efficiently expedite the caseload and make sure the state is receiving the highest caliber legal representation," Reyes said in a statement Monday.

Smith, who currently serves as the Weber County attorney, also filed Monday.

He told reporters that his candidacy will not affect his day job. Currently, his office is prosecuting a number of death penalty cases and other high-profile crimes.

"It's not going to take time away from the office," he told the Standard-Examiner.

"I can't, I won't, take time away from the office."

Swallow, who is currently Utah's chief deputy attorney general of the civil division, announced his candidacy in February.

He was appointed by current Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in 2009, and served in the state Legislature from 1997 to 2002.

Swallow is currently overseeing Utah's effort to strike down President Barack Obama's federal health care law. He also is spearheading the state's legal land battles against the federal government.

"My goal is to protect Utah's families, lands and freedoms. As attorney general, whenever Washington D.C. attempts to hamper our rights to life, liberty, or our property, I will fight against it," he said in a Feb. 13 statement.

"I have seen the federal government's intrusion into our lives at almost every level and am committed to putting an end to it. From seizure of our lands and resources, to unconstitutional mandates, I want to fight for Utahn's freedoms. I pledge to use the resources and tools available to the office to push back against this violation of freedom at every turn."

All four men are vying to replace Shurtleff, who is not seeking re-election this year.

Shurtleff, a Republican, was elected in November 2000, and was re-elected in November 2004 and November 2008.

He is the first attorney general in Utah to win re-election for a third term.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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