Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he won't run for Attorney General again. Is that decision final? Who knows. Mr. Shurtleff is not above changing his mind on important decisions. However, as an incumbent who won nearly 70% of the general election votes in 2008, he was the odds-on favorite to win again.
State Senator John Valentine, Deputy Attorney General John Swallow, and Sean Reyes have been mentioned as possible candidates for the post on the Republican side.
Mr. Reyes attended a lunch meeting in downtown Salt Lake that I was at on Wednsday, so I thought I would take a quick look at his candidacy.
Why Sean Reyes?
Mr. Reyes' platform is generic, but it hits all of the right notes. He is conservative. He wants to protect families.
But what makes Sean look like a serious contender is his organizational head start. It is very early to be campaigning for Utah AG. The general election won't be until November of 2012 and the Republican nominating convention will probably be in May of 2012. So, by starting so early, Sean is looking at a 17-month campaign.
Sean was the only candidate for AG who had a booth at the State GOP organizing convention last month. He has formed a PAC called Freedom Defense and he seems to be aggressively and energetically campaigning. He has also collected dozens of endorsements already.
Sean was until recently a lawyer at a large prestigious law firm in Salt Lake. He went to law school at Berkley and played volleyball there as well. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to have a deep criminal law background. But that is obviously not all that the Attorney General is involved with.
I found Sean to be very personable when I met him. He has a lot of energy and seems excited about the race. He is facing a marathon and an enormous challenge launching his state-wide race.