SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Attorney General Sean Reyes led the race for state attorney general by over 30,000 votes after the first vote drop in the Republican primaries.
Utah County Attorney David Leavitt had 174,060 (45.6 percent) of the vote Tuesday night, compared to Reyes’ 207,589 (54.4 percent).
“These are early results but we are very pleased with these numbers,” Reyes said in a statement. “We hope to increase our lead over the coming days. I want to thank everyone who voted. I am overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received statewide during the convention and now this primary race. My family has been my inspiration, including my dad, who we lost during this campaign.
“It is an honor as attorney general to stand watch over and defend Utah. I look forward to continuing my momentum into a November re-election victory so I can continue to serve and protect all Utahns.”
LIVE primary results can be seen here.
Recent polls showed Reyes leading Leavitt by almost five percentage points, but over 43 percent of voters had said they were undecided.
The candidates had upped their criticism of each other in recent weeks, with Leavitt accusing Reyes of answering to big donors while favoring issues that bring publicity, like international human trafficking.
Reyes said Leavitt had lied about him, floated proposals that didn’t quite add up and that Leavitt was simply unqualified for the position.
Both candidates said defunding police would be a mistake.
The winner of the race will face Democratic challenger Greg Skordas and Libertarian Rudy Bautista.