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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sean Reyes
Sean Reyes 220 8-18-14 (cropped).jpg
21st Attorney General of Utah
Assumed office
December 30, 2013
GovernorGary Herbert
Spencer Cox
Preceded byJohn Swallow
Personal details
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Saysha Reyes
Children6
EducationBrigham Young University
(BA)
University of California,
Berkeley
(JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Sean D. Reyes is an American lawyer and politician who has been the Attorney General of Utah since 2013. Appointed to the office by Governor Gary Herbert following the resignation of John Swallow, Reyes was subsequently reelected. Reyes is a member of the Republican Party and has served as a county, state, and national delegate for the Republican Party and a member of the Utah Republican Party's State Central Committee.

Early life and education

Reyes was raised in the Los Angeles area. His father was an immigrant from the Philippines of both Filipino and Spanish descent. His mother was of Native Hawaiian and Japanese descent.[1] He is a cousin of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay.[2]

Reyes earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1994.[1] He graduated from University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1997.[1][3]

Career before time as Utah attorney general

Reyes spent 14 years working at Utah's largest law firm, Parsons Behle & Latimer,[4] where he became the first person of color to become a partner.[5] He practiced commercial litigation and employment law.[3] He later became general counsel for eTAGz, a Springville, Utah-based media and technology company[6] that aimed to develop products for embedding digital files on packaging.[4] He was also a partner and co-founder of the venture capital firm Accelerate Ventures,[7] a state small claims court judge,[8] and president of the Minority Bar Association.[8]

Utah Attorney General

Elections

Reyes ran for attorney general of Utah in 2012 against John Swallow. He lost the primary election by a margin of 68 to 32 percent.[9] After Swallow resigned amid scandal in December 2013,[4] Reyes was selected by the Utah Republican Party State Central Committee as one of three candidates to fill the vacancy (on December 14, 2013), and Governor Gary Herbert appointed Reyes to the position (on December 23, 2013).[10]

Because of Utah's election laws, Reyes had to run in the 2014 Utah elections to be elected to finish out the remainder of Swallow's term.[11] He won with 63.06 percent of the vote over his Democratic challenger, Charles A. Stormont, and Libertarian candidate Andrew McCullough.[12]

In 2016, members of the Latter Day Church of Christ, a Mormon fundamentalist denomination, donated to Reyes' campaign for attorney general individually and through Washakie Renewable Energy, a business partially owned by members of the LDCC. Reyes' representatives indicated in response to these reports that the contributions had been placed in escrow.[13]

In 2020, Reyes ran for a third term. He was challenged for the Republican nomination by Utah County Attorney David Leavitt,[14] but won the Republican renomination in the July 2020 primary election with 54.04% of the vote.[15] In the November 2020 general election, Reyes was reelected, defeating Democratic nominee Greg Skordas.[16]

During the 2020 presidential election, Reyes was an elector. Unable to serve because of COVID-19 self-quarantine,[17] Mia Love was nominated as a replacement elector.[18]

Tenure

As attorney general, Reyes frequently joined other Republican state attorneys general who sued the Obama administration on various issues, ranging from federal lands use to transgender rights.[7]

Immediately after taking office, Reyes appealed U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby's ruling that struck down Amendment 3, the state's same-sex marriage ban.[19] The estimated $2 million price tag in appealing Shelby's ruling was criticized by The Advocate, Daily Kos, and ThinkProgress.[20][21][22] In response, Reyes stated, "We're willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people" and that "everyone benefits from appealing the case."[23] The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the district court's ruling; Reyes petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review, but the court denied his request to hear the case.[24]

In 2020, after the New York Attorney General sued the National Rifle Association, asserting that Wayne LaPierre and other NRA officials unlawfully misappropriated NRA funds for personal expenses and self-enrichment, Reyes joined Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in filing an amicus brief challenging the New York suit. Reyes asserted that the New York AG was discriminating against the NRA.[25]

Trump support

Reyes is a vocal and longtime supporter of Donald Trump.[26] In late-January 2017, Reyes was named as a top candidate for the chairmanship of the Federal Trade Commission by officials in the Trump administration.[27] He praised Trump in a speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention,[26] and Trump endorsed him in his 2020 primary.[16] Reyes was also named Utah state co-chairman of Trump's reelection campaign.[26] In September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Reyes appeared in the front row of an indoor Trump rally in Nevada, without social distancing from other attendees and without wearing a face mask, garnering criticism.[28]

Unsuccessful attempt to overturn Trump's 2020 election defeat

In November 2020, Reyes took several days leave to go to Nevada in a bid to bolster the Trump campaign's claims of purported voter fraud in neighboring Nevada. Reyes claimed that "voting irregularities" occurred but never provided any evidence for this claim.[25][29] Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford noted that there was no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 Nevada elections, stated that Reyes had not returned his telephone calls or text messages, and termed his conduct "disrespectful" to Nevada.[25][29] A number of Utah officials, as well as the United Utah Party, criticized Reyes for baselessly undermining faith in the democratic process without evidence.[29]

In December 2020, Reyes joined a group of 16 other Republican state attorneys general in a failed lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. His participation in the suit was criticized by the outgoing Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, and his successor, Lieutenant Governor and Governor-elect Spencer Cox.[30][31] Utahns created a petition calling for Reyes's recall.[32][33] The suit, which attempted to invoke the U.S. Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, was brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, against Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, four swing states in which Joe Biden defeated Trump. The suit repeated Trump's false and disproven claims that the election was marred by widespread voter fraud. Such assertions by Trump and his allies had already been rejected in other state and federal courts. Paxton asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the states' 62 electoral votes, allowing Trump to be declared the winner.[34][35][36][37][38][39] Legal experts stated that the suit was meritless.[40][41] Election law expert Rick Hasen described the lawsuit as "the dumbest case I've ever seen filed on an emergency basis at the Supreme Court."[42][43] Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse said the situation of Paxton initiating the lawsuit "looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt"; at the time he brought the suit, Paxton was facing a federal securities fraud charge and allegations of abuse of office allegations).[44] On December 11, the U.S. Supreme Court quickly rejected the suit which Reyes had joined, in an unsigned opinion.[45]

Personal life

Reyes and his wife Saysha have six children.[46][47]

A member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Reyes was a Mormon bishop in Salt Lake City for five years in his early career.[1]

See also

Electoral history

Utah Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Swallow 156,644 67.95
Republican Sean Reyes 73,868 32.05
Utah Attorney General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sean Reyes (inc.) 355,275 63.06
Democratic Charles Stormont 151,967 26.97
Libertarian Andrew McCullough 22,333 3.96
Constitution Gregory Hansen 18,722 3.32
Independent American Leslie Curtis 15,108 2.68
Utah Attorney General Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sean D. Reyes (inc.) 719,043 65.41
Democratic John V. Harper 275,568 25.07
Libertarian W. Andrew McCullough 73,973 6.73
Independent American Michael W. Isbell 30,687 2.79

References

  1. ^ a b c d Doug Robinson, Sean Reyes — Out of the 'hood, into the AG's office, Deseret News (January 10, 2016).
  2. ^ Carrington, Lynette (October 27, 2014), "Attorney of the Month Attorney General Sean Reyes Carries on Legacy of Service", Attorney at Law Magazine
  3. ^ a b Sean Reyes '97 Wins First ABA National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (November 29, 2007).
  4. ^ a b c Robert Gehrke, Reyes tackles tall tasks as Utah's new attorney general, Salt Lake Tribune (December 31, 2013).
  5. ^ Young Lawyer Sean Reyes, face of modern Utah, Deseret News (February 7, 2008).
  6. ^ "Gov. names Sean Reyes as Utah attorney general". Daily Herald. Associated Press. December 23, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Tony Romm, Trump transition weighing Utah attorney general for FTC, Politico (January 17, 2017).
  8. ^ a b Swallow vs. Reyes: A Heated GOP Race for Utah's Next Attorney General, Utah Public Radio.
  9. ^ Romboy, Dennis (June 26, 2012). "Swallow beats Reyes in AG race; Dougall wins for auditor". KSL.com. KSL-TV.
  10. ^ "Gov. Gary Herbert names Sean Reyes as Utah attorney general". Deseret News. December 23, 2013.
  11. ^ "Gov. names Sean Reyes as Utah attorney general", Daily Herald, December 23, 2013, retrieved June 26, 2014
  12. ^ 2014 Election Results
  13. ^ Winslow, Ben (February 15, 2016). "Company linked to Kingston polygamous group spends a lot on Utah's Capitol Hill". Fox13. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Richards, Connor (March 16, 2020). "Utah County Attorney David Leavitt announces run for Utah Attorney General". Daily Herald.
  15. ^ 2020 Regular Primary Election Canvass, State of Utah
  16. ^ a b Sean Reyes bests GOP challenger in attorney general race, Associated Press (July 3, 2020).
  17. ^ Seikaly, Simone (December 14, 2020). "Utah AG Reyes unable to vote as Elector, Love steps in". KSLNewsRadio. Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021. According to Reyes’ chief of staff, Ric Cantrell, Reyes needed to quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  18. ^ Cox, Spencer J. (November 5, 2019). "2020 Electoral College Results; Utah Certificate of Vote 2020". National Archives. p. 2. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  19. ^ Farinas, Gerald (December 30, 2013). "New Utah attorney general vows to defend same-sex marriage ban". Chicago Phoenix. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  20. ^ Ford, Zack (January 6, 2014). "Utah's Novel Argument: Banning Same-Sex Marriage Encourages 'Diversity' In Parenting". ThinkProgress. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  21. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Diane. "Utah to Spend Whopping $2 Million to Fight Marriage". The Advocate. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  22. ^ Boerl, Dr. Christopher (December 30, 2013). "Utah to Spend $2 Million Fighting Marriage Equality, Questions Arise Regarding Fiscal Values". Daily Kos. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  23. ^ Roche, Lisa Roche (December 30, 2013). "Attorney General Sean Reyes takes oath, poised to appeal gay marriage ruling". Deseret News. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b c Bryan Schott, Utah's Sean Reyes signs on to support lawsuit seeking to protect the NRA, Salt Lake Tribune (December 24, 2020).
  26. ^ a b c Dan Harrie, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes praises Trump as 'warrior' against human trafficking, Salt Lake Tribune (August 27, 2020).
  27. ^ Apuzzo, Matt (April 28, 2017). "Utah Attorney General Makes a Trump Shortlist, and Donations Pour In". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  28. ^ Sean P. Means, Utah's attorney general attends a Trump rally without a mask, and his challenger criticizes him for it, Salt Lake Tribune (September 15, 2020).
  29. ^ a b c Taylor Stevens, Nevada attorney general criticizes Utah's Sean Reyes for his unfounded claims of voting irregularities, Salt Lake Tribune (November 11, 2020).
  30. ^ Dennis Romboy, https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/12/9/22166454/news-herbert-cox-condemn-attorney-general-sean-reyes-amicus-brief-texas-lawsuit-trump-election-fraud [Herbert, Cox condemn Utah A.G. Reyes joining Texas lawsuit challenging election], Deserert News (December 9, 2020).
  31. ^ Madeleine Porter, Herbert, Cox call action of Reyes on election lawsuit "unwise", KSL (December 9, 2020).
  32. ^ "'Waste of our taxpayer's money': Herbert, Cox again blast Reyes over elections lawsuit participation". www.ksl.com. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  33. ^ Supreme Court Shuts Door On Texas Suit Seeking To Overturn Election, NPR (November 11, 2020).
  34. ^ Missouri, Kansas sign onto lawsuit seeking to overturn presidential election, Kansas City Star, Bryan Lowry, December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  35. ^ Trump thought courts were key to winning. Judges disagreed, Associated Press, Coleen Long and Ed White, December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  36. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 8, 2020). "Texas files an audacious suit with the Supreme Court challenging the election results". The New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  37. ^ Platoff, Emma (December 8, 2020). "In new lawsuit, Texas contests election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  38. ^ "'Publicity stunt': AGs in battleground states blast Texas counterpart for challenging Biden's win". NBC News. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  39. ^ Lindell, Chuck. "Ken Paxton asks Supreme Court to block Joe Biden victory in 4 battleground states". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  40. ^ "17 states, and Trump, join Texas request for Supreme Court to overturn Biden wins in four states". Dallas News. December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  41. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 8, 2020). "Texas files an audacious suit with the Supreme Court challenging the election results". Retrieved December 25, 2020 – via NYTimes.com.
  42. ^ "Trump and his GOP loyalists seek to pile on Supreme Court election challenge". ABC News. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  43. ^ Phillips, Amber (December 11, 2020). "Why the Texas lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election may be the most outlandish effort yet". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  44. ^ Platoff, Emma (December 10, 2020). "With election lawsuit, Ken Paxton — like Donald Trump — makes a Hail Mary play". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  45. ^ Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election, New York Times, December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 20202.
  46. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (December 23, 2013), "Sean Reyes vows to restore 'integrity' to Utah Attorney General's Office", Deseret News
  47. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (December 23, 2013). "New A.G. Sean Reyes pledges to 'raise the bar'". KSL News. Retrieved April 1, 2014.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Swallow
Attorney General of Utah
2013–present
Incumbent
This page was last edited on 10 February 2021, at 08:51
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