Sean Reyes

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Sean Reyes
Sean Reyes 220 8-18-14 (cropped).jpg
21st Attorney General of Utah
Assumed office
December 30, 2013
GovernorGary Herbert
Preceded byJohn Swallow
Personal details
Born (1971-02-16) February 16, 1971 (age 48)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Saysha Reyes
EducationBrigham Young University
University of California,
WebsiteOfficial website

Sean D. Reyes (born February 16, 1971) is the 21st Attorney General of Utah. He was appointed by Governor Gary Herbert following the resignation of John Swallow,[1] he is a member of the Republican Party and has served as a county, state and national (alternate) delegate for the Republican Party and a member of the State Central Committee, the governing body of the Utah Republican Party.

Early Life and education[edit]

Reyes was raised in Southern California, his father was an immigrant from the Philippines of both Filipino and Spanish descent. His mother was of Native Hawaiian and Japanese descent,[2] he is a cousin of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay.[3]

Reyes received his bachelor's degree with summa cum laude distinction from BYU in 1994. Reyes attended UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and received his law degree with honors marks in 1997.[4] While attending law school, Reyes played for the Cal Men’s Varsity volleyball team, was an officer on the Asian Law Journal with a focus on Asian Pacific American economic and policy issues, and volunteered as a high school teacher for Street Law, Inc.

Law practice[edit]

Reyes was a lawyer at Utah's largest law firm, Parsons Behle & Latimer. Immediately before being appointed attorney general he was serving as general counsel for Springville, Utah based eTAGz.[5] After his work with PB&L, Reyes formed Reyes Legal Management and was also a partner with venture capital firm Accelerate Ventures.[6]

Reyes has also served on the boards of many non-profit institutions, including one conducting education against fraud, he has also been involved with the National Commission on Museum for American Latino.[7]

Reyes also served as a small claims judge for the 3rd District Court of Utah.

Reyes received the first-ever National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association.

Political career[edit]

Reyes ran for Attorney General of Utah in 2012 against John Swallow, he lost the primary election with a margin of 68 to 32 percent.[8] In December 2013, John Swallow resigned from office. Reyes was then selected as one of three candidates by the GOP State Central Committee on Dec 14, 2013. Governor Gary Herbert appointed Reyes as the next Attorney General of Utah on Dec 23, 2013.[1]

Because of Utah's election laws, Reyes had to run in the 2014 Utah elections to be elected to finish out the original term of John Swallow,[9] he was the Utah Republican Party candidate, and prevailed with 63.06 percent of the vote over Utah Democratic Party candidate Charles A. Stormont, and Libertarian candidate Andrew Mccullough.[10]

Reyes is the first ethnic minority to become the Attorney General of Utah or to hold statewide office in Utah.[11][12]

Reyes was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. to serve as one of the youngest members of the Third District Judicial Nominating Commission; he spent several years on a National Congressional Commission started by President George W. Bush. Appointed by Congress and the President of the United States, Reyes conducted public hearings throughout the country to advise the Administration and Congress on Latino issues.[4]

Immediately after taking office, Reyes appealed Judge Robert J. Shelby's ruling that struck down Amendment 3, the state's same-sex marriage ban.[11] The estimated $2 million price tag in appealing Shelby's ruling was criticized The Advocate,[13] Daily Kos,[14] and ThinkProgress.[15] In response, Reyes stated "We're willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people" and that "everyone benefits from appealing the case."[16]

As a member of the National Attorneys General Association, Reyes co-chairs the Human Trafficking Committee, co-chaired the Civil Rights Committee from 2015–16, and currently sits on the Consumer Protection, Law Enforcement, Federalism, Internet Safety/Privacy, Veterans Affairs Committees. Since his reelection in 2016, Reyes has also been an active leader as a member of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, having most recently hosted and keynoted at the CWAG Cyber Security and Technology Forum in February 2017.

In 2016, Reyes was honored with the Law Enforcement Leader Special Service Award from the Utah Sheriffs Association for support of law enforcement, for training programs to protect law enforcement and de-escalate violence among law enforcement in the communities they police, he was also recognized with the National Leadership Award from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in 2015 and 2016 for working with teens and producing PSAs in English[17] and Spanish to prevent underage drinking among youth. Reyes continues to extend his role as Utah Attorney General to advocate for anti-bullying and educate on teen suicide. Most recently, he and his office team worked closely with Utah state legislators and the University of Utah's University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) to develop SafeUT, the crisis text and tip line app for Apple and Android mobile devices[18] that is offered as a statewide service to provide real-time crisis intervention to youth through texting and a confidential tip program.

In February 2016, Reyes was ranked 21st on Newsmax's[19] list of the top 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans.

In 2016, it was reported that members of the Latter Day Church of Christ, a Mormon fundamentalist denomination, had donated to Reyes' campaign for attorney general individually and through Washakie Renewable Energy, a business partially owned by members of the LDCC. Reyes' representatives indicated in response to these reports that the contributions had been placed in escrow.[20]

In late January 2017, Reyes was named as a top candidate for the chairmanship of the Federal Trade Commission[21] by officials in the Trump administration.


Reyes has delivered lectures to professional and legal organizations, businesses, Boy Scout groups, law schools, undergraduate programs, high schools and other youth groups on the topics of the importance of education, civics and the law, business etiquette, human trafficking, consumer protection, anti-trust and cybersecurity, he is a regular panelist and keynote speaker at Salt Lake Comic Con. Reyes is a former mixed martial arts fighter.

Reyes and his wife Saysha have six children.[22][23]

Reyes and his immediate family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[24]

Electoral history[edit]

Utah Attorney General Republican Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Swallow 156,644 67.95
Republican Sean Reyes 73,868 32.05
Utah Attorney General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sean Reyes (inc.) 355,275 63.06
Democratic Charles Stormont 151,967 26.97
Libertarian Andrew McCullough 22,333 3.96
Constitution Gregory Hansen 18,722 3.32
Independent American Leslie Curtis 15,108 2.68
Utah Attorney General Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sean D. Reyes (inc.) 719,043 65.41
Democratic John V. Harper 275,568 25.07
Libertarian W. Andrew McCullough 73,973 6.73
Independent American Michael W. Isbell 30,687 2.79


  1. ^ a b "Gov. Gary Herbert names Sean Reyes as Utah attorney general". Deseret News. December 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Jan. 10, 2016 Deseret News article on Reyes
  3. ^ Carrington, Lynette, "Attorney of the Month Attorney General Sean Reyes Carries on Legacy of Service", Attorney at Law Magazine
  4. ^ a b "Meet Sean",, Sean Reyes for Utah Attorney General, archived from the original on December 24, 2013, retrieved December 24, 2013
  5. ^ "Gov. names Sean Reyes as Utah attorney general". Daily Herald. Associated Press. December 23, 2013.
  6. ^ Bruckman, Ryan (December 23, 2013), "Press Room",, Office of the Attorney General of Utah |contribution= ignored (help)
  7. ^ "Team",, Accelerate Ventures, archived from the original on December 25, 2013 |contribution= ignored (help)
  8. ^ Romboy, Dennis (June 26, 2012). "Swallow beats Reyes in AG race; Dougall wins for auditor". KSL-TV.
  9. ^ "Gov. names Sean Reyes as Utah attorney general", Daily Herald, December 23, 2013, retrieved June 26, 2014
  10. ^ 2014 Election Results
  11. ^ a b Farinas, Gerald (December 30, 2013). "New Utah attorney general vows to defend same-sex marriage ban". Chicago Phoenix. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ Gehrke, Robert (December 30, 2013). "Reyes tackles tall tasks as Utah's new attorney general". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  13. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Diane. "Utah to Spend Whopping $2 Million to Fight Marriage". The Advocate. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  14. ^ Boerl, Dr. Christopher (December 30, 2013). "Utah to Spend $2 Million Fighting Marriage Equality, Questions Arise Regarding Fiscal Values". Daily Kos. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  15. ^ Ford, Zack (January 6, 2014). "Utah's Novel Argument: Banning Same-Sex Marriage Encourages 'Diversity' In Parenting". ThinkProgress. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  16. ^ Roche, Lisa Roche (December 30, 2013). "Attorney General Sean Reyes takes oath, poised to appeal gay marriage ruling". Deseret News. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  17. ^ "Ask, Listen Learn: Simone Biles + Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes". Vimeo. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Standard-Examiner (February 4, 2017). "SafeUT crisis prevention app grows in popularity". Standard-Examiner. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  19. ^ "Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans". Newsmax. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  20. ^ Winslow, Ben (February 15, 2016). "Company linked to Kingston polygamous group spends a lot on Utah's Capitol Hill". Fox13. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  21. ^ Takala, Rudy (March 30, 2017). "Trump would do well to appoint Sean Reyes as federal trade commissioner". TheHill. Retrieved May 5, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (December 23, 2013), "Sean Reyes vows to restore 'integrity' to Utah Attorney General's Office", Deseret News
  23. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (December 23, 2013). "New A.G. Sean Reyes pledges to 'raise the bar'". KSL News. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  24. ^ "REAL LAWYER REAL LEADER REAL EXPERIENCE" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Swallow
Attorney General of Utah