May 29, 2024

Alex Goble said Thursday that he withdrew his name from the ballot after his nomination to a district juvenile court.

(Utah Governor’s Office) Alex Goble withdrew his candidacy for San Juan County attorney after he was nominated to serve as a judge in Utah’s Sixth District Juvenile Court.

The only candidate running for a San Juan County attorney is no longer in the race, though a write-in candidate could emerge as the top candidate.

Alex Goble confirmed Thursday to The Salt Lake Tribune he withdrew his name from the ballot on Wednesday following a recent nomination to serve as a judge in the 6th District Juvenile Court.

Goble’s nomination was announced Wednesday in a news release from Gov. Spencer Cox’s office. The judicial spot was created during this year’s legislative session.

“I’m pleased to appoint Alex Goble to this position of trust in our community,” Cox said in the news release. “His intelligence and experience will serve him well during his tenure on the Sixth District Juvenile Court.”

Goble has served as a San Juan County prosecutor since 2019, and he worked for the Utah Attorney General’s Office before that. Utah’s 6th Judicial District covers Garfield, Kane, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne counties.

Brittney Ivins, currently the interim San Juan County attorney, said Thursday that she filed paperwork the previous day to run for the job as a write-in candidate.

Goble’s withdrawal from the race is the latest development in a turbulent few months for the San Juan County attorney’s office.

In April, Ivins and another county attorney candidate, Craig Halls, sued the San Juan County Commission after the commission voted to solicit more candidates for the county attorney job even though four people had applied for the job. In May, a judge ruled the commission could not continue with its search.

The same month, Ivins was appointed to be the interim county attorney, and her term is slated to end on Dec. 31. In the county resolution appointing Ivins, the documents began by saying, “San Juan County has a long history of violating the civil rights of its Native American citizens.”

Ivins took over for Kendall Laws, the former county attorney who resigned in March, according to Ivins and Halls’ lawsuit. Laws left to take a job with the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office.

Earlier this year, Laws accused two county commissioners — Kenneth Maryboy and Willie Grayeyes — of violating the state’s open meetings laws over an email from a paralegal working for the duo’s attorney.

The accusation was the most recent conflict in a long line of disputes since a 2017 federal court ruling that the county’s voting districts were unconstitutional and discriminatory against Navajo people in the district. A special election with redrawn maps took place in 2018, with Maryboy and Greyeyes being elected to create the first majority-Indigenous commission in county history. Laws’ father, Kelly Laws, ran against Greyeyes as a Republican in 2018 and lost.

Kelly Laws later sued Greyeyes and claimed the commissioner was not a Utah resident, but the Utah Supreme Court later dismissed the lawsuit.

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