Mark Shurtleff (R)
SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff handily won a third term Tuesday night, early results show.
Shurtleff, 51, was being challenged by Democrat Jean Welch Hill, an attorney for the state Board of Education, and Libertarian W. Andrew McCullough, a First Amendment lawyer.
With just over 2 percent of polls reporting, Shurtleff lead Hill 60 percent to 36 percent in the solidly Republican state. McCullough had 3 percent of the vote, official figures indicated.
"Mark Shurtleff is a popular politician and most people approve of his job," Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, told Legal Newsline in an earlier interview.
Shurtleff was re-elected in 2004 with 68 percent support in the predominately Republican state.
The attorney general voted Tuesday after being hospitalized with a staph infection earlier in the day.
Shurtleff checked into the hospital Saturday afternoon. His infection is related to a surgery he underwent in August to repair damage a shattered leg sustained from an accident last year at a charity motorcycle ride.
Bone scans taken this weekend show that the leg is healing slowly, with the help of a series of metal halos with wires and pins anchoring the bones, said spokesman Paul Murphy said.
"Scans show that there is bone growth there, so the strange contraption on his leg is working," he said. "It just makes him prone to staph infections."
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.