Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – The special election in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District is in the books, but it’s still the center of a power struggle on Utah’s Capitol Hill.
Legislative leaders want to see the attorney general’s opinion on how the election should have operated. So far, the governor has said no, but he says he’s hopeful of a resolution.
Governor Gary Herbert piggy backed off the municipal election to run the special election.
Speaker of the House Greg Hughes wanted a quicker process. One that wouldn’t have left the seat vacant for more than four months.
The one opinion we haven’t seen, is that of Attorney General Sean Reyes.
“It’s the law, we should have it. I mean, I’m just going to be blunt about it. The law is very clear, we’ve gone through this process with the Attorney General’s Office. They are a duly elected office that represents the people,” said Hughes, (R) Draper.
The governor disagrees. He addressed the issue at his monthly news conference at KUED.
“My concern is not what the opinion says, but the conflict it puts the attorney general in under our Constitution that he is required to be my attorney,” said Herbert, (R) Utah.
The governor agrees there is a legitimate legal question that needs to be answered about who has the authority over a special election.
He says a resolution is in the works.
“I think we can resolve these differences in a an amicable way, so I’m not worried about it. And, I think we are in a good position, and discussions will continue ongoing and maybe in the next week or two we’ll find out what process we’ll finally agree to,” said Herbert.
Hughes says it’s something they plan to address in the upcoming session, and that’s why he wants to see the AG’s opinion.
“That analysis will just inform our process. I think at this point, we will come into the session and put in place a process for a special election, in the event you have a member of congress resign,” said Hughes.
The State Records Committee ruled that the report should be released. The Attorney General’s Office has a few weeks still to respond to that ruling.