Jon Harper Drops Out of Race for Attorney General

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- Jon Harper, the only candidate running against current Attorney General Sean Reyes, has dropped out of the race.

Harper says he is withdrawing on the advice of his doctor. Citing “health reason” for why he’s dropping out.

He issued the following statement:

“My family and a number of friends – old and new – have been incredibly supportive, and I appreciate everything they have done for me,” Harper said, “I also hope the issues I have raised in this campaign will have an impact on the incumbent – that he will recognize his responsibility to serve as the guardian of the public’s interest and not as the attorney for his party leaders and large donors over the interests of the people; that he will shut down the money mill the Attorney General’s office has continued to be; and that he will do as he promised two years ago to restore openness, independence and integrity in that office.”

Harper was set to debate Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes Wednesday night at Dixie State University. In place of the debate Reyes will now take time to respond to questions.

Several questions have been raised as to why the Utah Debate Commission is choosing to move forward with Reyes alone. They sent the following answers as a response:

1.  The UDC bylaws are clear about who can participate:  “The threshold for candidate participation will be ten percent in a poll commissioned by the Commission in August of the election year.  Those candidates who reach that threshold will be invited to participate in the scheduled candidate debates.”  
 
2.  The Debate Participation and Format Policy says the UDC will take into consideration the margin of error in the poll.  Andrew McCullough did not reach that threshold, even taking into consideration the margin of error in the poll.  
 
3.  Why do we not cancel the debate?  The UDC policy is to continue with the debate even if there is only one candidate.  That policy is designed to avoid the veto power of one candidate.  If one candidate knows that he or she can stop the debate by refusing to participate, then the debates can be easily manipulated by a single candidate.  That policy is intended to remind candidates who withdraw that the UDC debate will continue with or without them. 

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...