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Utah Attorney General election, 2012

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The Utah attorney general election is scheduled for November 6, 2012, following a primary on June 26, 2012.

Current Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) is not seeking reelection to a fourth term this year. Four hopefuls filed with the Lt. Governor to participate in the primary election by deadline yesterday. The pool of candidates includes two Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian, each a member of Utah's legal pantheon in his own right.

Utah's "Young Lawyer of the Year" [1] Republican Sean D. Reyes is currently general counsel at a local media and technology company eTAGZ. As an advocate of community outreach programs, Reyes has founded multiple non-profit organizations dedicated to education, business and anti-fraud awareness.[2]

Former state legislator John Swallow (R) was appointed chief deputy attorney general by Shurtleff in 2009. He oversees the civil division, spearheading the state's legal land battles against the federal government, and most prominently, the current battle to strike down Obamacare. He is the early favorite for the Republican nomination.

Democratic Weber County attorney Dee W. Smith believes his current work prosecuting death penalty cases and other high-profile crimes qualifies him for the state's top legal office. "I’ll be focusing on being a strong voice for law enforcement," he said of his plans.[3]

Smith's uncontested primary status gives him temporary campaign relief, and lends credence to his promise to not let the campaign impinge on his present caseload.

Libertarian candidate W. Andrew McCullough is a practicing attorney in Midvale, specializing in First and Fourth Amendment law. He was spurred to run by news of Democratic opponent Smith's candidacy, feeling it was incumbent upon him to represent the Libertarian party on one of its most important issues. “We’re against the death penalty, and he’s a death penalty guy, so I had to file” McCullough said.

This year's race is round three for McCullough, whose unsuccessful bids left him undeterred. “Who’s counting?” he told the Standard-Examiner after filing this week.[3]


Key dates

  • Administrative deadlines are at close of business (5:00) unless otherwise noted.
Deadline Event
Mar. 9 - Mar. 15 Candidate filing period
June 26 Primary election
Nov. 6 General election
1 Results
2 Candidates
2.1 Democratic primary candidates
2.2 Republican primary candidates
2.3 Libertarian candidates
3 Polls


Coming Soon


Donkey symbol.png Democratic primary candidates

  • Weber County attorney Dee W. Smith of South Ogden cites combating the three chief “threats our families face: illegal drugs, identity fraud, gangs and Internet crimes against children" as his highest campaign priorities.[3]

Gop logo2.jpg Republican primary candidates

  • Cottonwood Heights attorney Sean D. Reyes is a popular figure in local, state, and national politics, particularly within the Republican party for his service as a delegate, appointed member of the State Central Committee, and adviser on Latino issues. If elected, Reyes, who has mentioned repealing Obamacare his main priority for the office, would become Utah’s first statewide-elected official from a minority community.[1]
  • Deputy chief attorney general John Swallow of Sandy manages the AG office's civil division, and has led the state's land battles and the battle against federal health reform. In a Feb 13 statement, Swallow said "I have seen the federal government's intrusion into our lives at almost every level and am committed to putting an end to it."[4]

Libertarian candidates

  • Midvale attorney W. Andrew McCullough's campaign focuses on true-to-form Libertarian values such as reduced regulation in the markets and decriminalization of marijuana.


Attorney General Selection
Poll Sean Reyes John SwallowSample Size
Republican AG Candidates
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


1 Results
2 Polls
Coming soon



1 Due dates for reports
2 Candidates

Due dates for reports

The Lieutenant Governor of Utah administers campaign finance law and maintains all records online.

For the primary election:

  • Pre-convention report -- due 7 days before the party convention
  • Pre-Primary report -- due by June 19, 2012
  • Post-Primary report -- due by August 31, 2012

For the general election:

  • Pre-general report -- due by October 29, 2012
  • Year-end -- due by January 31, 2013



Dee W. Smith

Dee W. Smith Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures)
Pre-Convention Report[6] April 15, 2012 $0.00 $9,152.60 $(79,042.07)


John Swallow

John Swallow Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures)
Pre-Convention Report[7] April 16, 2012 $0.00 $453,493.37 $(159,890.66)

Sean Reyes

Sean D. Reyes Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures)
Pre-Convention Report[8] April 16, 2012 $0.00 $331,528.33 $(248,447.68)

See also


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