Utah Attorney General special election, 2014
June 24, 2014
November 4, 2014
Sean D. Reyes
Sean D. Reyes
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Results
- 3 Race background
- 4 Debates
- 5 Past elections
- 6 Voter turnout
- 7 Key deadlines
- 8 Ballotpedia reports
- 9 Recent news
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
Republicans won the previous four races for attorney general by at least 18 percent, according to results in the past elections section. Reyes and Stormont argued issues including ethics, same-sex marriage and the state's anti-polygamy law during a debate in October as summarized in the debates section.
Utah is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Parties decide who may vote. Registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters may vote in the Democratic primary. Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary.
Sean Reyes - Incumbent 
Charles Stormont - Lawyer in the Utah Attorney General's office
Andrew McCullough - Libertarian candidate
Gregory Hansen - Constitution Party candidate
Leslie Curtis - American Independent Party candidate
|Attorney General of Utah, 2014|
|Republican||Sean Reyes Incumbent||63.1%||355,275|
|Election Results via Utah Lieutenant Governor.|
Special election circumstances
- See also: John Swallow's controversies
In 2012, then-Chief Deputy Attorney General John Swallow was elected as Attorney General. Almost immediately Swallow was beset by scandal and controversy, leading to ethics and elections law investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Utah State Legislature. These events eventually caused Swallow to resign on December 3, 2013.
In his place, Utah Governor appointed current incumbent Republican Sean Reyes, who took office on December 30, 2014. Reyes came second in the heated 2012 Republican primary won by Swallow. Reyes ran to retain the office in a special election on November 4, 2014. He did not face any contentious campaigning in the primary in 2014 as he run unopposed for the nomination.
Reyes's major-party opposition in November was Democrat Charles Stormont, a lawyer in the Attorney General's office. Three other candidates faced Reyes and Stormont in November: Libertarian Andrew McCullough, Constitution Party candidate Gregory Hansen and American Independent Party candidate Leslie Curtis. Reyes won election to the remaining two years of Swallow's term.
October 1 debate
Sean Reyes (R) and Charles Stormont (D) discussed the office's recent past, same-sex marriage and polygamy during a debate in Provo. Reyes noted that when he was appointed to the attorney general's office, he "inherited an office racked with scandal and controversy." His solutions to these issues included improving salaries and requiring supervisors to participate in detailed evaluations to ensure integrity. Stormont countered that the office remained largely the same as when John Swallow held the office and promoted an ethics hotline that would allow citizens to blow the whistle on corrupt elected officials. Both candidates agreed on campaign finance limits and that they would not take campaign donations from sources that could create conflicts of interest.
Reyes and Stormont heatedly discussed their stances on defending the state's anti-polygamy law and same-sex marriage ban. Reyes argued that the state needed to appeal a federal court's decision to strike down part of an anti-polygamy law, while Stormont called an appeal a waste of money over a law that is largely unenforced. Stormont also argued that the state should not waste time appealing higher court decisions on same-sex marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court will likely reject any appeal. Reyes stated that the attorney general has a duty to defend the state's laws in higher court.
|Attorney General of Utah General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Dee W. Smith||30.1%||269,893|
|Libertarian||W. Andrew McCullough||5.3%||47,347|
|Election Results via Utah Lieutenant Governor (dead link).|
|Attorney General, 2008|
|Republican||Mark Shurtleff Incumbent||69.3%||650,147|
|Democratic||Gregory G. Skordas||26.6%||249,492|
|Libertarian||W. Andrew McCullough||4.1%||38,321|
|Attorney General, 2004|
|Republican||Mark Shurtleff Incumbent||68.5%||607,393|
|Democratic||Gregory G. Skordas||28.3%||250,820|
|Libertarian||W. Andrew McCullough||3.2%||28,202|
|Attorney General, 2000|
|Democratic||Reed. M Richards||39.5%||299,683|
|Libertarian||W. Andrew McCullough||2.9%||22,273|
Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP. By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.
- According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.
- Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
- The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
- Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
- There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.
|Voter turnout rates, 2014|
|State||Total votes for top office||% voter eligible population||Top statewide office up for election||Size of lead (Raw votes)||Size of lead (%)|
|District of Columbia||150,000||30.3||Mayor||27,934||19|
|Indiana||1,350,000||28.0||Secretary of state||234,978||17.8|
|North Carolina||2,900,000||40.7||U.S. Senate||48,511||1.7|
|North Dakota||248,670||43.8||U.S. House At-large seat||42,214||17.1|
|West Virginia||460,000||31.8||U.S. Senate||124,667||27.6|
Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.
|March 20, 2014||Primary filing deadline|
|May 30, 2014||Third-party filing deadline|
|June 24, 2014||Primary election|
|September 5, 2014||Write-in candidate filing deadline|
|November 4, 2014||General election|
|November 24, 2014||State board of canvassers meeting|
|January 5, 2015||Inauguration day for state executives elected in November|
To learn more about developments in these races, check out the following news articles from Ballotpedia:
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Utah + attorney + general + elections"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Project Vote Smart, "Voter Registration: Utah," accessed January 3, 2014
- Utah Lieutenant Governor: Elections, "2014 Candidate Filings," March 20, 2014
- KUER, "Democrat Charles Stormont to Run for Attorney General," March 20, 2014
- Daily Journal, "Candidates for Utah attorney general debate ethics, defense of gay marriage ban," October 1, 2014
- United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
- TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
- PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
- U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014
State of Utah
Salt Lake City (capital)
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