Democratic candidate says GOP attorney general ‘played’ Utah Debate Commission

Incumbent Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes, left, and Democrat Greg Skordas, right, are pictured in this composite photo.

Incumbent Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes, left, and Democrat Greg Skordas, right, are pictured in this composite photo. | Jeffrey D. Allred and Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic attorney general candidate Greg Skordas says incumbent GOP Attorney General Sean Reyes “played” the Utah Debate Commission by getting it to change the dates of their only debate.

Skordas said his biggest concern is that the Oct. 21 debate is scheduled after mail-in ballots were sent to voters and just days before the Nov. 3 election.

“I think that was calculated on their part,” he said of the Reyes campaign. “We knew that from day one.”

The debate commission changed the date from Oct. 1 to Sept. 22 to Oct. 21 to accommodate Reyes.

Reyes said he didn’t receive special treatment.

He said his father died earlier this year in Hawaii, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic he and his extended family haven’t been able to travel there to hold a funeral. He said his campaign told the debate commission that it looked like they would be able to do so in late September or early October.

“This is my team. I did not discuss it directly with the debate commission,” Reyes said Thursday on KSL Newsradio’s “Live Mic” with Lee Lonsberry.

Reyes said his campaign told the commission there would be a high likelihood he would have to pull out if the debate were scheduled during the time he would be in Hawaii.

“From what my team had communicated to me, they were happy and willing to find another date and they selected the 21st. There wasn’t any magic about the 21st,” he said.

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Reyes, though, held events during the time his campaign told the commission he could be in Hawaii — a meet-and-greet in Fish Haven, Idaho, on Sept. 26 and another meet-and-greet at Sundance on Sept. 29-30. Reyes also hosted a policy summit and vice presidential debate watch party at the Montage in Deer Valley on Oct. 7-9.

Skordas said he doesn’t believe anything Reyes says.

“He had his campaign schedule laid out for weeks and weeks and weeks. He didn’t change a damn thing,” Skordas said. “We’ll see if he shows up for the scheduled debate. He got what he wanted, which was to put it over as long as possible after mail-in ballots went out. There was a very calculated decision that he made, and he won. The debate commission was played.”

Reyes said his family has still not been able to travel to Hawaii to lay his father to rest because of the pandemic.

“I don’t think there’s any controversy about it. I understand my opponent wants to make it an issue,” he said. “There are other debates that were scheduled by the commission after the ballots were being released.”

County clerks were to send out mail-in ballots starting Oct. 13. Three of the debate commission debates were scheduled for after that date, including for the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts.

The debate commission put out the original date without consulting with either candidate. …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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