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Report: Utah AG candidate files defamation suit against GOP opponent

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Jun 25, 2012



SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline) - Sean Reyes, one of two Republican candidates for Utah attorney general, is suing his GOP opponent, John Swallow, just ahead of the state's primary.

According to The Associated Press, Reyes filed a lawsuit in the state's Third Judicial District Friday.

He claims Swallow, his campaign team and a Nevada-based political action committee falsely portrayed him in television and radio advertisements, the AP reported.

The ads at issue focused on Reyes' campaign fundraising -- of which was investigated and has since been dismissed -- and an alleged road rage incident in 1993, according to the AP.

Swallow, who is looking to take over for the state's current top lawyer, Mark Shurtleff, told the news service the suit was "frivolous" and said Reyes was "desperate" for filing it.

In a recent Deseret News/KSL-TV poll, 52 percent of voters surveyed said they would vote for Swallow compared to 24 percent for Reyes.

Swallow is currently the chief deputy attorney general of Utah's civil division. He was appointed by Shurtleff in 2009.

Fourteen state attorneys general -- including Shurtleff, himself -- are backing Swallow in this year's race.

The winner of Tuesday's primary will face Democrat Dee Smith in the state's Nov. 6 general election.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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