Sean Reyes

Sean Reyes
21st Attorney General of Utah
Assumed office
December 30, 2013
Governor Gary Herbert
Preceded by John Swallow
Personal details
Born (1971-02-16) February 16, 1971
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Saysha Reyes
Children 6
Alma mater Brigham Young University,
University of California,
Website Official 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

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 Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay.[3]

Reyes received his bachelor's degree from BYU in 1994 and his law degree from UC Berkeley in 1997.[4]

Law practice

Reyes was a lawyer at Utah's biggest 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 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.


Reyes ran for Attorney General of Utah in 2012 against John Swallow. He lost the primary election with a margin of 69 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 Utah elections, 2014 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]

In February 2016, Reyes was ranked 21st on Newsmax's[17] list of the top 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans.

Private life

Reyes and his wife Saysha are the parents of six children.[18][19]

Reyes and his immediate family belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Reyes lists church involvement on his campaign website.[20]

Electoral history

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


  1. 1 2 "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. 1 2 "Meet Sean",, Sean Reyes for Utah Attorney General
  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 2013-12-25 |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, 23 December 2013, retrieved 26 June 2014
  10. 2014 Election Results
  11. 1 2 Farinas, Gerald (30 December 2013). "New Utah attorney general vows to defend same-sex marriage ban". Chicago Phoenix. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  12. Gehrke, Robert (30 December 2013). "Reyes tackles tall tasks as Utah's new attorney general". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  13. Anderson-Minshall, Diane. "Utah to Spend Whopping $2 Million to Fight Marriage". The Advocate. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  14. Boerl, Dr. Christopher (30 December 2013). "Utah to Spend $2 Million Fighting Marriage Equality, Questions Arise Regarding Fiscal Values". Daily Kos. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  15. Ford, Zack (6 January 2014). "Utah's Novel Argument: Banning Same-Sex Marriage Encourages 'Diversity' In Parenting". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  16. Roche, Lisa Roche (30 December 2013). "Attorney General Sean Reyes takes oath, poised to appeal gay marriage ruling". Deseret News. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  17. "Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans". Newsmax. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  18. O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (December 23, 2013), "Sean Reyes vows to restore 'integrity' to Utah Attorney General's Office", Deseret News
  19. O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (23 December 2013). "New A.G. Sean Reyes pledges to 'raise the bar'". KSL News. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  20. "REAL LAWYER REAL LEADER REAL EXPERIENCE" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2014.
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Swallow
Attorney General of Utah
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