Utah defense attorney announces he’ll run for attorney general as a Democrat

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Defense attorney Greg Skordas has announced that he'll run for attorney general. He is pictured here talking about a case on Friday, October 14, 2016.

A prominent defense attorney announced Tuesday that he’s running for Utah attorney general in an attempt to oust Sean Reyes from his position.

Greg Skordas is seeking to be the Democratic nominee.

“Right now, Utah has too many career politicians who are out of touch with what matters to Utah citizens," Skordas said in a statement. “Voters have resorted to ballot initiatives to expand health care and end gerrymandering, only to find that their leaders have their own agenda. I am running because I believe the attorney general is the people’s lawyer. And the people of Utah deserve to have a top attorney who will represent their interests in court.”

The defense attorney, who has also worked as a prosecutor and a small claims court judge, said he wants to bring “independence and integrity” to the attorney general’s office, and won’t waste money on litigation that “takes extreme positions on hotbed political issues that most of our moderate citizens do not hold.”

Skordas has had several high-profile and controversial clients over the years, and recently represented a cop who arrested a nurse in an emergency room and a millennial at the center of a multimillion-dollar opioid ring. He also frequently appears on television and local media outlets as a legal expert.

Skordas ran for attorney general in 2004, losing to incumbent Mark Shurtleff.

So far, three other attorneys have filed to run for attorney general in the 2020 election.

Reyes is seeking reelection, and Utah County Attorney David Leavitt will run against him in the Republican primary. Attorney Kevin Probasco, who has previously run for Congress, has also filed as a Democrat.

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.