Weber County Attorney to run for Utah’s AG

Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-11 20:03:36-04

Weber County's top attorney will be seeking the role of Utah's Attorney General under the Democratic ticket.

Dee Smith has served as Weber County Attorney since May 2009 and has overseen some high-profile cases, including the investigation of the Jan. shooting of six Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force officers where Officer Jared Francom was killed.

Smith says that the state Attorney General's Office isn't something he saw himself doing, but after some convincing by other top Democratic officials, he decided to run.

"A lot of people that I respected encouraged me to do it. And that's what I think put me over the edge," said Smith.

Among those officials are Congressman Jim Matheson and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

"Dee Smith has really been on my mind ever since he first came into office. He's done so well up in Weber County. He's someone who has integrity, he has ethics," said Rob Miller with the Utah Democratic Party.

Smith says he felt some reluctance leaving behind some of the issues in Ogden, but hopes to take that experience to the state level.

"I'm currently a prosecutor. I recognize the dangers that are out there, the threats to our communities. And I would really look forward to working on a statewide level on addressing some of those issues," said Smith.

Smith will be running against either current Assistant Attorney General John Swallows or local attorney Sean Reyes. Smith says that even though he's running as a Democrat, he feels the attorney general shouldn't be a party lawyer, but Utah's lawyer.

"Make sure it's not just politics as usual. That we're making decisions based on sound legal reasoning and not for political reasons," he said.

Smith will make his candidacy official on Monday when he heads to the Lieutenant Governor's Office to file his paperwork. He'll be joined by retired General Peter Cook, the Democratic candidate for Utah's governor.