SALT LAKE CITY --Gov. Gary Herbert selects Utah GOP's top pick as the new attorney general.
Sean Reyes was announced to the position this morning. He will replace John Swallow, resigned in the face of investigations and scandal.
Reyes was nominated after getting 62-percent of the vote in the first round of balloting during the state's GOP committee meeting Dec. 14.
The Utah Democratic party were not happy with Herbert’s choice saying the appointment maintains politics as status quo.
“Today, Governor Herbert picked politics over statesmanship, and selected a man that will be running for office and raising money on day one as Utah's Attorney General, even as he sits in John Swallow's disgraced seat,” said party chair Jim Dabakis. “The governor had the opportunity to select a strong person, a dedicated person who could have exclusively devoted a year to restoring the integrity of the office. The governor could have picked a steward to clean up the mess left by Shurtleff and Swallow. Instead, Herbert has decided to play politics-as-usual and again put his rabid GOP delegates ahead of the people of Utah. Shame on Governor Herbert."
The group Alliance for Better UTAH also released a statement criticizing the governor's choice. It stated:
“Unfortunately, our governor has decided to stick to business as usual in his selection of Sean Reyes as John Swallow’s replacement. Reyes is undoubtedly a well-qualified lawyer. He might even have won his intra-party contest against John Swallow and perhaps even gone on to beat Democrat Dee Smith had Swallow been honest in his campaign disclosures, but we’ll never know. But Reyes’ stated objective of seeking reelection will make it difficult for him to devote 100 percent of his time to restoring integrity to the attorney general’s office. One foot in the office and one foot in the campaign is no way to run the the attorney general’s office at this critical juncture. The attorney general's office needs someone who will have both feet in the office.”
Alliance for Better UTAH filed the election law violation petition that charged Swallow with breaking state election laws.
Robert Smith and interim AG Brian Tarbet were the other two candidates.