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Utah Attorney General

The Attorney General of Utah is an elected constitutional officer in the executive branch of the state government of Utah. The attorney general is the chief legal officer and legal adviser in the state. The office is elected, with a term of four years.

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  • Rudy J. Bautista
    (L)

  • Candidate picture

    Sean D. Reyes
    (Rep)

  • Greg Skordas
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What can be done to promote fair legal representation for those convicted of crimes?

Do improvements need to be made to Utah’s juvenile justice system? If so, what should they be?

What do you see as the most important responsibilities of the State Attorney General?

Suggestions have been made in the legislature that the Attorney General should be an appointed rather than elected official to avoid the possibility of campaign contribution influence? What is your opinion of a constitutional amendment to make the AG an appointed office?

Utah experiences human trafficking, and Salt Lake City ranks as the 9th highest city for missing murdered indigenous women and Utah the 8th highest state. What role should the AG’s office have to address these crimes?

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Campaign Email Address info@seanreyes.com
Campaign Phone (385) 282-5222
Twitter @SeanReyesUT
Current Employment Utah Attorney General
Education Reyes graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University and earned his law degree with honors from U.C. Berkeley.
Campaign Website www.seanreyes.com
I’ve balanced aggressively holding people accountable who break the law and making sure the accused and convicted are treated fairly in the justice system. I helped Congress/White House pass the First Step Act, bringing historic correctional, sentencing, confinement, recidivism, oversight and credit incentives reform. I helped bring successful re-integration NGOs (like Other Side Academy and One Heart) to Utah for education/job skill training for adults and juveniles returning to society and for moving drug offenders into treatment versus incarceration. I supported key parts of Utah’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative; led prosecutors statewide to create best practices for more uniformity and transparency; helped financially compensate and clear the names of innocent people who were convicted; support removing job licensing barriers for the formerly incarcerated. I have also worked with Utah Indigent Defense Commissioners to assure adequate 6th Amendment representation for the indigent.
Yes. We should minimize incarcerations when more proven and promising solutions exist like assessing individual needs/risk to determine how best to assist youth towards rehabilitation. We should require accountability but provide these youth and their families a clear understanding of how to earn their way out of the system, eliminate artificial barriers, give them support-- including opportunities for education and training to minimize recidivism. We must continue funding/implementing research based-reforms like those I helped get passed in 2017 (HB239). According to a 2019 Pew Foundation Report, we’re seeing very positive results from HB239’s reforms to “keep youth who can be safely supervised in the community out of costly residential placements, expand community-based programs, reduce outcome disparities across racial and geographic lines, and divert youth charged with less serious offenses from formal court proceedings.” It’s the most humane, just and sustainable approach.
Protecting the lives, laws, land/natural resources, fair business competition, consumers, physical/mental health, safety, rights, privacy, liberties of ALL Utahns. The AG counsels state agencies, represents them in complex civil litigation and prosecutes violent/white collar crimes like: homicide, child porn, human/drug trafficking. AG defends state laws, whether or not he/she personally agrees with the laws. I’ve had bi-partisan success with local, state and federal leaders in Utah/nationally to address major threats to safety, health and happiness. We expanded CJCs protecting abused children, built a SafeUT Crisis App saving countless teen lives, passed a 3-digit number for mental health emergencies—to name a few of many successes. I’ve joined GOP/Democrat AGs across America to sue opioid makers, drug dealers, companies that violate privacy/put at risk personal data or defraud consumers (Volkswagen-$25 billion). We’ve fought the opioid epidemic, teen vaping & cyber predators.
There are compelling reasons why 43 states elect vs. appoint an AG. Appointed AG’s are often just legal mouthpieces for a Governor (who can hire/fire them at will). It’s almost impossible for them to speak or act independently. Because an AG is not only counsel for state officers/agencies but also for the people, the AG needs autonomy to represent the interests of the people without interference. An elected AG, directly accountable to the electorate, is free to make independent decisions. I often agree with Gov. Herbert but not always. And I don’t need his permission to file, settle or dismiss cases (unless I'm directly representing him/his agencies). If contributions are a concern, an appointed AG doesn’t solve the issue--just shifts the problem. Appointed AGs give decision-making power to the Governor. Thus, concerns over campaign contributions merely shift to influencing the Governor. Contributions to my campaign don't shield a company/industry or give them any special treatment.
AG Reyes is a global expert in combatting human trafficking, and prosecuting some of the most significant cases in the western United States. In 2014, he garnered worldwide attention as an undercover operative in Columbia on one of the largest sex trafficking operations on record, which liberated over 120 children. He has continued the fight against human trafficking at the invitation of a number of countries, advocating for the most vulnerable. Domestically, Reyes' office has led many more investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking cases, and will continue to do so. These have included labor trafficking, sex trafficking, child pornography, illegal adoptions and other types of forced exploitation including leading the investigation & prosecution into a business that former Maricopa County Arizona Assessor Paul Petersen owned that involved recruiting, transporting, and paying Marshallese women to place their babies for adoption in the U.S.; Petersen pled guilty to the charges.
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