Utah's Republicans will decide hotly contested races for attorney general and state auditor in Tuesday's primary.
Incumbent Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced two years ago he would not run again, setting off a scramble for his seat between his deputy, John Swallow, and challenger Sean Reyes.
The winner will face Democrat Dee Smith, Weber county attorney, in November.
In the auditor's race, incumbent Auston Johnson is challenged by five-term legislator John Dougall, who says Johnson has been in office too long. Dougall said he wants to bring new blood and new aggressive auditing to the office.
Here's a look at the races:
John Swallow and Sean Reyes both insist they will use the office of attorney general to overturn the Affordable Care Act, protect children, prosecute criminals and protect Utah residents from identity theft and other forms of modern crime.
Both feel Utah can win its bid to reclaim the two-thirds of the land within the state that is owned by the federal government, even though the Legislature's general counsel said bills to do so have severe constitutional issues.
Swallow, 49, who has been deputy attorney general for two years, said he feels a court challenge can still succeed, although he said ultimately the solution may be to push new legislation through Congress.
Reyes, 41, a corporate attorney, said he feels the way to pursue it is through contract and precedent, arguing that "our state was induced into statehood with a promise of control of those lands."
Both sport rafts of endorsements.
Swallow said he is endorsed by attorneys general from 14 other states, the NRA and former U.S. Rep. Jim Hansen. Reyes said he is endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett and dozens of business leaders and members of the Utah legal profession.
Where they differ is in how qualified each thinks the other is for the job.
Reyes said Swallow has spent much of his career in non-attorney pursuits, such as serving in the Utah House of Representatives from 1996 to 2002 and failing to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson in 2002 and 2004 races for Congress.
"I think my opponent is very political" Reyes said. "He's spent most of his career as a lobbyist for the check cashing industry. He was Mark's (Shurtleff) campaign fundraiser.
"When he was running against Jim Matheson, I remember hearing him say 'I'm a reformed, rehabilitated lawyer' and it worked for him. It's interesting now that he's running for an elective office he's saying he's a lawyer."
"I'm the only lawyer in this race. We're not running for lobbyist general, we're not running for candidate general. We're running for attorney general."
Swallow said Reyes is trying to spin his own lack of political experience into an advantage.
Swallow said his past legal experience, his legislative experience, his time in the AG's office and his work fighting the Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court show he has the wide base of legislative and political experience that an attorney general needs.
But he also defended his legal skill.
"I was a partner in a litigating firm before he finished law school," Swallow said. "If we want to talk about experience, I was in a mid-size law firm, where you do all your own cases, so I did all the work.
"His highest level in his own firm was second level. I don't think he led one single case in his whole career. What he's trying to do is a classic case of misdirection, which they teach us. He's trying to divert attention from his own lack of experience by talking about mine."
Reyes has not held elective office before, or even tried to win it, but insisted he can lead a large group of lawyers. He has litigated or briefed cases in federal and state courts, he said, and served as a partner in a major law firm for more than a decade.
"I have led many civic organizations and founded non-profits," he said. "I have led business organizations. In the legal community I have led legal organizations, some of which have more lawyers than the AG's office.
"That's what the AG's office needs right now. It needs to be a law office not a political office. When John Swallow would make those comments in 2002 and 2004, and use the lawyers of Utah as a political punchline for his purposes, that tells me he is a political animal, that is his world."
Reyes criticized Swallow for recent statements that he would take the state Office of Consumer Protection into the AG's office. It is currently under the governor's office.
News reports said Swallow made the proposal to a potential campaign donor who is in trouble with the consumer protection office. Gov. Gary Herbert said he has no plans to go along with such a change.
"The only reason you would do that is to consolidate more power in one office," Reyes said, "and I am concerned when you have that much power in one office.
Swallow said the controversy is being blown out of proportion. He wants to discuss the idea because it makes fiscal sense, he said.
Swallow said attorneys general control the office of consumer protection in 41 states, "so it's a little surprising to me that Sean Reyes, with no experience at all, would take a stand on that issue."
He said that most people think of the attorney general when they think of white collar crime, so he wants to have a dialog with the governor and the Legislature about moving consumer protection there in Utah as well.
"And that's all I have to say about it, because if I'm elected we'll have the discussion, if not we won't."
Swallow said the contention that he is a lobbyist for the payday loan industry is another example of spin.
Two years before he was made deputy attorney general, he said, he worked for a law firm that had payday loan businesses as clients. He said he would sometimes meet them socially.
So, "just to be transparent" he registered with the state as a lobbyist, "but if you look at my lobby forms not once did I ever discuss legislation.
"But my opponent is going around calling me a career lobbyist."
Auston Johnson, 62, has been state auditor for 17 years. He is being challenged in the primary by John Dougall, 46, who is leaving the Utah House of Representatives after 10 years representing House District 27 near American Fork.
Johnson said audit work is mostly mundane, but is critical to prevent fraud and misuse of government money.
He said his office has successfully uncovered numerous cases of embezzlement of state funds. One was in the Richfield Applied Technology Center and another was in the state's Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control.
He said he is being criticized because his office did not produce a recent audit that showed the DABC was badly managed, but said the criticism ignores the work his office did earlier.
"The ABC audit that got all the attention was done by the legislative auditor general," he said. "That was a weird one because we'd been auditing that for years and pointing out the same problem, but the Legislature wasn't all that into doing much about it until this last year."
Dougall, said Johnson has been in office too long, has grown complacent and simply needs to be replaced.
"The running joke is he's been retired in office for 10 years," Dougall said. "One of the dynamics I watched in the Legislature is all the major audits are coming out of the legislative auditor, not the (state) auditor."
Referring to the ABC audit, he said, Johnson's office "wrote memos and that was it, and so when the Legislature found out about it last year, that it was going on for 15 years, that's very disturbing."
Dougall said he worked on the state budget while in the Legislature, so jumping to the audit office won't be a huge leap.
"For me being a budget guy, I'm looking at it as someone who is going to be more proactive," he said.