UTAH COUNTY (ABC4) – Utah GOP primaries in 2022 continue to be fraught with drama, controversy, and tight competition. Most recently on April 9th, the race for Utah County Attorney heated up during candidate speeches.

The position is currently held by attorney David Leavitt who has held the position since 2018. Leavitt ran for Attorney General of Utah in 2020, but lost in the Republican primary. He is being challenged by two candidates: attorneys Jeff Gray and Adam Pomeroy.

Leavitt, a graduate of BYU Law and Utah native, has recently come under controversy for allegedly asking county prosecutors to go easy on people close to him. In his speech to the GOP Caucus, Leavitt loosely referenced these allegations, calling them “lies intended to silence [his] voice.”

Leavitt spoke longer than his allotted time, inducing a long, awkward period of clapping from the 1,500 audience members, with occasional jeering. Leavitt appeared not to budge, hoping to continue to speak, at which the audience began to boo him off. Rather than take his place in his previous seat among candidates, Leavitt spoke loudly over the crowd saying “because I want you to know the truth”, and walked up the bleachers and out of the caucus.

Despite being eliminated by delegates in the caucus process, Leavitt was allowed candidacy after receiving enough grassroots signatures supporting him.

In contrast, Jeff Gray spoke on a platform of “good prosecution, not politics.” Adam Pomeroy spoke primarily on being “tough on crime” to avoid “the problems that Salt Lake City” has, presumably referencing Leavitt’s unpopular “softness” on crime.

In the following first round of voting, Pomeroy was in the lead with 46% of the vote, with Gray gaining 43% and Leavitt 10%. Despite being eliminated as the incumbent, Leavitt will still appear on the primary ballot from the signatures his campaigned gained for his candidacy.