- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah’s Republican attorney general is removing himself from his office’s defense of a state law challenged by the Utah Republican Party.

Sean Reyes said in a statement Friday afternoon that he’s recusing himself because he’s donated to the party and is an elected member of its governing body.

The attorney general’s office says Reyes’ chief of staff Parker Douglas will oversee the law’s defense. The law changes the way Utah nominates candidates for political office.

The Utah Republican Party sued the state over the changes, saying they violate the party’s constitutional right to choose how its picks candidates.

Reyes says he also plans to remove himself from any Republican Party discussions or actions involving the case.

The changes allow candidates bypass Utah’s caucus and convention system and instead compete in a primary election.

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