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Sean Reyes holds early lead for attorney general, preliminary results show

A one-year prison sentence for a Utah nurse whose foster child died in her care is being criticized as too lenient. Attorney General Sean Reyes is calling the judge’s decision “beyond disappointing.” (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Preliminary results show incumbent attorney general Sean Reyes leading the polls in the Republican primary with a nine-point head against opponent David Leavitt. Reyes is running to defend his seat, where he’s served since December 2013. 

The Attorney General’s race has been a contentious campaign, as both Reyes and Leavitt have accused each other of shady dealings and bad faith throughout the election cycle. 

Initial numbers show Reyes leading with 211,312 votes compared to Leavitt’s 176,836.


SEAN REYES – 54.44% | 211,312

DAVID LEAVITT – 47.48% | 176,836

Updated 6:00 a.m. 7/1

However, these numbers are not official results as ballots will continue being counted throughout the week — as the postmark deadline was changed during a special season in April to resolve issues posed by the pandemic. Ballots postmarked by Tuesday at 8 p.m. will be counted in the final votes. 

Reyes released a statement shortly after preliminary results were posted, noting his campaign team is “very pleased with these numbers.” Reyes said he hopes to increase the lead over the coming days, as ballots continue to be counted. 

“It is an honor as Attorney General to stand watch over and defend Utah,” Reyes said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my momentum into a November re-election victory so I can continue to serve and protect all Utahns.”

Voters and candidates can expect results to be posted later than usual, as Utah conducted an all-mail primary — in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, poll locations throughout the state were closed and the postmark deadline extended to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Typically, official results can be expected two weeks after polls close — but Utah is extending this to three weeks, accounting for election staff members to quarantine. 

This story is developing and will be updated.