Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes won’t run for reelection in 2024

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, under recent scrutiny for controversies involving his friend Tim Ballard, luxury campaign travel, and his nonprofit’s practices, is reportedly not seeking reelection in 2024, sources told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The decision to step down comes after Reyes faced criticism for his association with Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, who was accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Reyes, who had a longstanding friendship with Ballard, initially supported his potential Senate candidacy but later distanced himself following the allegations.

Furthermore, Reyes’ office came under scrutiny for campaign-funded trips and fundraising practices at his nonprofit, the Liberate All Value All Foundation. The Utah Legislature initiated an audit of Reyes’ office, including his ties to Ballard, and the attorney general was named as a defendant in a lawsuit against Ballard.

Reyes, who has held the position of attorney general since 2013, made combating human trafficking a top priority during his tenure. He also championed the establishment of the SafeUT phone app for teens and defended Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, restrictive abortion law, and policies related to transgender participation in high school Sports.

His decision not to seek reelection marks a significant shift in Utah’s political landscape, with speculation surrounding potential candidates to replace him. Former Utah Republican Party Chairman Derek Brown has announced an exploratory committee, while former Gov. Gary Herbert, who initially appointed Reyes as attorney general, has expressed support for Brown.

The allegations and controversies surrounding Reyes have tarnished his legacy as attorney general, signaling a changing of the guard in Utah Politics. Reyes had previously vowed to restore trust and integrity to the attorney general’s office in the aftermath of scandals involving his predecessors, John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff.

As Reyes prepares to step away from the spotlight, his decision will undoubtedly impact the upcoming Election and the future direction of Utah’s legal and political landscape.

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