Sean D. Reyes

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Sean D. Reyes is a Republican, and the Attorney General of Utah. He is running for reelection in the November 2020 Election, Utah.

In 2020, Reyes refused to answer a question about the appropriateness of state mandates addressing COVID 19. He seemed to imply that giving his opinion on such a matter would somehow be problematic in the same way that a judicial candidate or appointee giving their opinion might be problematic. This reasoning seems sketchy at best. The Attorney General's job is NOT to be neutral on cases that might come across their desk, but to take a public position and defend it. It seems to further confirm that he sees his role as being a rubber stamp for the Governor's office, and that, because of that expressing his own position would be inappropriate. To be fair, that is not what the Attorney General's job is. As an elected official, he is a representative of the people, not the Governor.[1]

In 2017, Reyes was sued by the Center for Media and Democracy over failure to release records relating to his involvement with the Republican Attorneys General Association, and the Rule of Law Defense Fund. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, these are organizations involved in a cash-for-influence scheme.[2]

He has been accused by Michael W. IsBell of becoming a rubber-stamp for the state, a contention that is supported by Reyes' statement that "We defend the laws, whether we agree with them or not", along with his defense of Utah's ag-gag legislation.[3] (He later dropped that defense after a federal judge declared the law unconstitutional.[4])

Supported H.B. 384 which infringed on the property rights of Utahns by enabling abusive application of asset forfeiture.[5] Later, in 2017, when the Department of Public Safety transferred seized (read: stolen) funds to the DEA, contrary to both basic justice and Utah law, Sean Reyes argued that giving away money stolen from taxpayers was within the discretion of the Department of Public Safety.[6]

Appointed by Gary R. Herbert in 2013 to fill a vacancy left by John Swallow, who resigned amidst federal investigation. He was then elected to finish his predecessor's term in 2014.

Sean D. Reyes has spoken out in support of the work of Operation Underground Railroad, and even participated in one of their operations.[7]

He has expressed that he supports Donald Trump for president.[8]

In 2015, a review of Reyes' campaign finances found a few troubling donations that raised the possibility of a conflict of interests. Particularly troubling was a $31,000 donation from Washakie Renewable Energy and executive, Sally Kingston. Washakie Renewable Energy is run by a polygamist group, the Kingstons, which has been in hot water before. However, at a time when Attorney General's office is preparing to defend Utah's ban on polygamy, the donation is especially troubling.[9][10] Reyes has responded by promising to move the money into an escrow account and seek guidance from the federal government (though, it seems that for an in-state election, the federal government's involvement might be discouraged in this age of federal overreach).[11]

Sean Reyes is among a slew of politicians ignoring current sign-posting laws in the promotion of his campaign.[12]

Reyes endorsed Donald Trump for President in the 2016 election.[13]

Common Core

At the request of Gary R. Herbert, Sean Reyes issued a report answering a number of legal questions regarding Common Core. The report contained factual errors and appears to be designed to support Gary Herbert's then agenda to promote and adopt common core in Utah.[14][15][16]

External resources


  1. Hollie Stark, "Utah Attorney General candidates address key issues including mask mandates, police brutality", St George News, 7 October 2020
  2. Dennis Romboy, "Watchdog group sues Utah AG over ties to GOP attorneys general association", KSL, 19 Jul 2017
  3. Ben Winslow, "Utah’s ‘Ag-Gag’ law likely going to trial", Fox 13, 18 Oct 2015
  4. "Utah won't appeal undercover farm filming decision", KSL, 8 Sep 2017
  5. "A Rebuttal to the Attorney General’s Office on Asset Forfeiture", Libertas Institute, 8 Jan 2014
  6. Connor Boyack, "Hate civil asset forfeiture? Here’s a court case in Utah to follow…", Libertas Institute, 10 Oct 2017
  7. Dennis Romboy, "Utah A.G. Sean Reyes made secret trip to rescue child sex slaves in Colombia", Deseret News, 14 Jan 2015
  8. Brian Schott, "Poll: Reyes Enjoying 35-Point Lead in Race for Attorney General",, 25 Aug 2016
  9. Robert Gehrke, "Business as usual? A.G. Reyes’ campaign donations raise conflict-of-interest questions", Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Jun 2015
  10. Brian Mullahy, "Advocate says AG Reyes 'tainted' by Kingston campaign contributions", KUTV, 17 Feb 2016
  11. Chris Jones, "Attorney General freezes Kingston campaign contribution", KUTV, 16 Feb 2016
  12. Lee Davidson, "Hanging bad: Campaigns breaking the law with election signs along Utah highways", Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Sep 2016
  13. "Attorney general issues statement on Trump/Pence, ‘most critical issue’ of the election", St George News, 2 Nov 2016
  14. Benjamin Wood, "Utah A.G.: Common Core doesn’t cede school control to feds", Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Oct 2014
  15. Christel Swasey, "RESPONDING TO THE UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S REPORT ON COMMON CORE", Utahns Against Common Core, 29 Oct 2014
  16. Connor Boyack, "Utah Governor Calls for State’s Withdrawal of Common Core Education Standards", Libertas Institute, 4 May 2016