SALT LAKE CITY – Incumbent state Attorney General Sean Reyes captured the GOP nomination to retain his office in Republican primary balloting on June 30.
With 67 percent of precincts reporting at 3 a.m. on July 1, initial counts had Reyes with 54 percent of more than 380,000 votes cast in the primary, compared to 46 percent for Utah County Attorney David Leavitt.
During the two-month campaign preceding the primary voting, Leavitt had hammered on Reyes’ record during his two terms as attorney general, while strongly advocating for comprehensive reform of Utah’s criminal justice system.
While both candidates supported the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate their outrage over the death of George Floyd while in police custody, Reyes and Leavitt also agreed that calls to defund metropolitan police forces were unrealistic.
Political observers suggested that recent mass demonstrations in Salt Lake City and Provo may have made Utah voters more receptive to the law and order agenda espoused by the incumbent attorney general.
Reyes will now face Democratic challenger Greg Skordas in the November general election.