Governor Gary Herbert says he plans on appointing a new Attorney General to replace John Swallow by Christmas. He will select one of three candidates chosen by the GOP State Central Committee. In the first of a series of profiles on the candidates, we take a look at the relatively unknown, Robert Smith.
While Smith may not be a familiar name in Utah political circles, his credentials speak for themselves. He received his law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University where he is currently the executive director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He’s also a certified public accountant and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Smith doesn’t seem concerned with the fact that he isn’t a political insider either; in fact, he says it’s one of the reasons the Governor should choose him.
“I think one of the things that is important is that I, in this case, have no political background," he says. "I come to this proposition fresh and interested solely in the will of the people and the rule of law.”
On his website Smith lays out his vision for what he’d do in office. Similar to other candidates, he says as AG he wants to demonstrate Utah’s commitment to religious freedom, work to regain federal lands in the state, and restore the integrity of the office. Things he says will take more than a year to accomplish.
“I think it’s important, though, that lasts beyond the next 11 months," he says. "It’s important that we have someone in place who will be willing to run and to put into place plans, with others, that can carry forward.”
While Smith says he’ll run for the AG spot in next year’s election if Governor Herbert selects him, he’s not sure if he will do it if he isn’t chosen to replace John Swallow.