Find all of our election coverage here.

November 8 is Election Day, but your mail-in ballot should be arriving soon—why wait to learn more about this year’s candidates? This week, we spoke to candidates running for the three other local positions up for election this year: fire commissioner, county attorney, and county sheriff.

The Grand County Attorney is an elected official with a four-year term. The attorney is a law enforcement official in the county and is responsible for a number of legal functions for the county. Those include reviewing, authorizing, and prosecuting violations of felony and class A misdemeanor criminal laws committed inside the county; analyzing and prosecuting felony and misdemeanor juvenile delinquency offenses; and representing the county in criminal matters.

There are two divisions in the attorney’s office: the criminal division, which enforces the criminal laws of the State of Utah; and the civil division, which is involved in preparing and reviewing contracts the county enters into.

Christina Sloan

What’s your history in Grand County? What sort of work have you done professionally? What made you decide to get involved in local government and run for office originally?

I first visited Moab in 2000 with my sisters. I fell in love immediately and started scheming how to get back. In 2003, my husband bought our house; in 2007, I moved here full-time.

I have been licensed to practice law for 18 years. I started the Sloan Law Firm in 2007, specializing in complex civil transactions and litigation. I have served, volunteered and supported local organizations including Moab Valley Multicultural Center, WabiSabi, Youth Garden Project, Full Circle Intertribal Center, Moab Free Health Clinic, Friends of Indian Creek, and Fastpitch Elite Moab. I also designed, fundraised, and supervised the construction of the Moab Boulder Park at Lions Park.

I come from a long line of teachers, engineers, and politicians. The commonality between them is the utilization of creativity and innovation to solve problems. I am similarly motivated to use my skills and opportunity to benefit my community.

Since moving to Moab, I have been involved in local government; however, I didn’t run for office until I was recruited in 2009 and again in 2017 by groups of citizens dissatisfied with our then County Attorney.

What’s an example of a great ordinance or political move you’ve seen in the last few years here in Grand County? What is one you believe was a misstep? 

The greatest ordinance is the 2008 Land Use Code update which removed short-term rentals as a permitted use in our residential zones. This demonstrated foresight and bravery as Grand County led the nation to protect rural residential values. The County followed this up in 2019 by a similar Land Use Code update which removed overnight accommodations as a permitted use in commercial zones to allow workforce housing to catch up. This helps with our goal of managing tourism in a sustainable way that benefits the entire community.

My biggest political frustration is the lack of support from law enforcement to enforce City and County noise pollution and OHV speed limit ordinances, despite widespread community support for these laws and their enforcement.

As county attorney, what is your guiding principle? With a diverse set of responsibilities, how do you prioritize?

My guiding principles are honesty, transparency, and doing my best job. The responsibilities are not just diverse, they are HUGE. I prioritize responsibilities based on community feedback and philosophy, both with civil and criminal workloads and policies.

What three steps would you take in the next year to help put our county and the legal department on a firm footing for the future?

  1. Re-elect Sloan! I am the only candidate with the experience and vision to tackle the complexities of Grand County’s civil and criminal workloads – and the honesty and strength to push back against outside interests continually trying to gain advantage here, at the expense of local residents’ quality of life. 
  1. Grand County needs more water monitoring and planning to better determine what our safe yield is and how close we are to exceeding it. This includes adoption of a more comprehensive water source protection plan and related land use code updates.
  1. The City and County have been sued by outside interests (Blue Ribbon Coalition) as well as local ATV businesses in an attempt to prioritize their own special interests over those of the majority of residents and visitors alike. We must aggressively fight to defend our health, safety, and welfare to keep Grand County a great place to live!

Stephen Stocks

What’s your history in Grand County? What sort of work have you done professionally? What made you decide to get involved in local government and run for office originally?

I grew up in Moab. After graduating from law school, and living abroad in Lima, Peru, I returned home to Moab to start my bilingual law practice. I focused on representing all members of the community, including Spanish speakers, in a wide range of civil and criminal cases. 

I decided to run for the county attorney position again because of the issues facing this community. In particular, Grand County has a serious drug problem that is not being effectively addressed. We no longer have a drug task force and until recently, had been without a student resource officer, despite controlled substances being found in the schools. 

This issue has not been a focus of the current administration and if left unchecked there will continue to be a serious drug problem in this community. This needs to be addressed in a way that encourages rehabilitation and limiting the spread of drugs.

There have been misfires between the county attorney and law enforcement which has led to multiple illegal searches that were found to be unconstitutional. As a former drug court attorney and an immigration attorney, I have the experience and passion to tackle this multifaceted problem plaguing our community.

What’s an example of a great ordinance or political move you’ve seen in the last few years here in Grand County? What is one you believe was a misstep? 

The community response to the floods in Moab was heartwarming. We saw members from our political offices collaborate with one another.  I was astounded and impressed to see how quickly this community can come together during a time of crisis. This is the kind of community spirit I remember growing up in Moab. Watching neighbors help each other without asking for anything in return has been touching. It seems like everything people talk about today ends with a wedge dividing this community further apart. It was good to see our elected officials and the community working together.

An issue I see as a misstep, or a missed opportunity, is the lack of effective communication fostered by the current county attorney between government agencies. The county attorney should address this. This office is a liaison to many organizations such as: victim advocates, law enforcement, DCFS, community members and commissioners. However, we have seen a lack of constructive communication that has hampered the response to critical issues. If elected as Grand County Attorney, I would make it a priority to improve an inclusive dialogue on these issues. This would benefit our community.

As county attorney, what would your guiding principle be? With a diverse set of responsibilities, how would you prioritize?

The guiding principle of my tenure as county attorney would be the statutory obligations of the county attorney and professional rules of conduct. County attorneys hold a great deal of power and control in a community. With any amount of increased power there is a heightened level of professional responsibility. It is critical that attorneys hold themselves above board and address concerns of conflicts of interest.  Oversights in due diligence, or perceptions of it, can damage the office of the county attorney.

To manage all the responsibilities of the position, the Grand County Attorney oversees the Grand County Attorney’s Office. The office is currently staffed with two attorneys, one J.D. graduate pending bar results, and several paralegals. Additionally, outside contracted attorneys are often used to fill the gaps when local counsel does not have experience in the needed area (for example Grand County recently hired outside counsel to assist with the opioid litigation).

My job as county attorney would be to ensure the county addresses issues in a timely manner, and to work with the county commissioners, county administrators, and others to address those issues deemed most critical. 

What three steps would you take in the next year to help put our county and the legal department on a firm footing for the future?

First, the Grand County Attorney’s Office lacks a clear and consistent policy on handling criminal prosecution. To address this, I would establish a policy for addressing the most frequently seen crimes in this community.  The policy would include programs that reduce incarceration and focus on reducing repeat offenders. 

Second, I would clarify exactly what the role of the county attorney is for the county. In civil issues, the county attorney’s role is to provide legal information and advice to the county through its commissioners without opinion or preference to the end goal. I will address areas where the county attorney has overstepped and return the power/focus to the commissioners.

Lastly, I would ensure that law enforcement receives appropriate training. There needs to be better cooperation between law enforcement and the county attorney to identify areas where improvement is needed. I would make it my priority to ensure enforcement of law is done in a legal and consistent manner. 

I will do the above without bias. My goal will be to provide sound legal advice to Grand County without personal opinion.