Utah County’s top prosecutor announces he’ll run against Attorney General Sean Reyes

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah County Attorney David Leavitt, announced Friday that he will run for attorney general. He is pictured here during a news conference in Provo, Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

The Utah County attorney announced Friday afternoon that he’s planning to run for attorney general, attempting to oust Sean Reyes in the primary.

David Leavitt filed to run for attorney general on Friday, the first day candidates can do so. Reyes also filed for reelection.

Leavitt has been the top prosecutor in Utah County since January 2019, and has focused much of his time since he took office on making changes and implementing programs in an effort to reform the criminal justice system. In announcing his campaign Friday, Leavitt echoed his desire to continue reform efforts at a statewide level.

“In a nation that incarcerates more people than anywhere in the world, we have work to do,” Leavitt said. “Most of those are nonviolent offenders. We have done a poor job at trying to help these offenders come back into society.”

Reyes was appointed attorney general by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2013, after his predecessor John Swallow resigned amid allegations of misconduct. He won reelection in 2014 and 2016, and has made combating human trafficking a focus of his office.