… And then there were three.
Grand County’s June 26 primary election mail-in ballots will feature the names of just three candidates – Steven Byers, Christina Sloan and Stephen J. Stocks – for one race: Grand County Attorney.
As recently as last week, it appeared that there would be a second three-way primary race for the District 1 seat on the Grand County Council. However, previously declared candidate Pete Gross has officially withdrawn from that race, narrowing the field of District 1 council candidates down to Brian Ballard and Terry Morse, who will now advance to the general election on Nov. 6.
With no other names on the upcoming primary ballots, the Moab Sun News is profiling the remaining candidates who are running to replace Andrew Fitzgerald as county attorney.
Byers, who heads the firm of Byers Law and Mediation Service, has lived in Grand County since 1965, and he said that he knows the community in a way that is unique to a longtime resident.
If he’s elected, he said his goal is to make certain that there is accountability for lawbreakers, while ensuring fairness in their treatment. He describes himself as a “big supporter” of drug court, and said he would work hard to keep it viable and effective.
Byers said he would always strive to spend taxpayer dollars wisely, have full disclosure and a transparent policy related to those expenditures.
As an attorney, he said he’s worked hard to take cases into mediation whenever possible.
“I do this because justice is best served when both sides get to be heard and feel that they are heard,” Byers said. “In retrospect and to the future, mediation serves as one of the wisest notions and use of our judicial resources.”
The county attorney is responsible for both criminal and civil county legal matters, which Byers handles in private practice.
“… Therefore I would be able to step into both roles as county attorney if elected,” he said.
Sloan is a licensed attorney in Utah and Colorado, with nearly 15 years of practice in adversarial and transactional work. She opened the Sloan Law Firm in Moab in 2007, and she said she has enjoyed serving the greater Moab area since that time.
“I am running for county attorney to increase efficiency in the county attorney’s office, expand the county attorney’s involvement in civil matters, and provide leadership regarding criminal policy and prosecutorial procedure,” Sloan said.
Stephen J. Stocks
Stocks said that the role of the Grand County Attorney as the chief law enforcement official in the county is a great responsibility.
“Many individuals encounter the county attorney at their most difficult moments in life – be it as a victim or as the accused,” he said. “These individuals must be treated with all of the rights entitled to them by the Constitution. I am ready for this responsibility.”
Stocks said that he dreamed of becoming an attorney since he was young.
“I was fortunate to grow up in Moab,” he said. “I worked in the restaurants. I was involved in my community. And, eventually, returned home after my schooling. I watched Moab develop into a unique and vibrant community.”
Enforcement of the law is paramount for a strong and safe community, he said.
“A county attorney must: enforce the laws fairly, treat victims with compassion, and, give the accused proper due process,” he said. “I believe I am equipped to handle these tasks. I look forward to speaking with fellow community members about my goals for the Grand County Attorney’s Office.”
Primary ballots in Grand County narrow to single race
The deadline to register via mail to vote in the primary is Tuesday, May 29, while the deadline to register in person or online is Tuesday, June 19. For more information about the county’s primary election, go to: www.grandcountyutah.net/612/Elections, or call 435-259-1321.