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GOP picks Reyes, Smith and Tarbet as finalists for Utah attorney general
Politics » Herbert to choose between Reyes, Smith and Tarbet, says he hopes to make decision before Christmas.

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Tarbet, who was general counsel in the attorney general’s office since Swallow’s inauguration in January, touted himself as the candidate who knew the office and how it worked, but distanced himself from the Swallow, although Herbert said it seemed clear the association with Swallow hurt Tarbet.

"The Swallow and Shurtleff problems arose long before I came into the office. I first met John Swallow after his election last year," Tarbet said. "I have witnessed the turbulence in the office and I have seen the resultant collateral damage."

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But Tarbet said his experience in the office also means he’ll know how to repair the damage. "I’m prepared Day One to find it, fix it and get it done for you."

Tarbet finished second on the first round of voting, but couldn’t pick up additional votes in later rounds, and barely survived on the fifth round of balloting, edging Rawson 67 votes to 62 votes.

Tarbet was the adjutant general of the Utah National Guard until he was asked by Swallow to be his general counsel when Swallow took office in January. He had worked in the attorney general’s office between 1988 and 2000 and was chief of the tax and revenue division.


Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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