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Profile picture of Charles Stormont in front of the Capital

Who is Charles?

  • OVERVIEW: Charles Alan Stormont is an experienced trial lawyer and civil litigator who has been practicing law since 2001 and serving the public in the Attorney General's Office since 2008. He is running for Utah Attorney General to restore public service and fidelity to the law as bedrock principles of the Office.
  • PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION: Charles graduated from Davidson College cum laude with a double major in mathematics and political science in 1998. He attended the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review. After graduating from law school in 2001, Charles joined Vinson & Elkins LLP in their Washington, DC office, where he worked on complex, multi-billion dollar mergers and patent litigation. In 2006, Charles joined the Salt Lake City office of Howrey LLP. In 2008, Charles joined the Attorney General's Office, where his practice has focused on eminent domain litigation for UDOT. Charles serves on the Utah State Bar's Third District Pro Bono Committee. Charles spear-heads the Committee's Debt Collection Volunteer Attorney Program, which has served more than a hundred pro bono clients since its inception. Charles is also a Bar Examiner, mentors young attorneys, and is a regular speaker at local and national conferences in his fields of expertise. He has also contributed to numerous publications in the antitrust field.
  • FAMILY & PERSONAL HISTORY: Charles was born in Houston, Texas. His father passed away when Charles was 3, shortly after Charles was diagnosed with type I diabetes. Charles is incredibly grateful for the strength of his mother, Lana, who made sure Charles had access to the best care while managing a busy house with 3 children all by herself. When Charles was 10, his family moved to Blacksburg, Virginia so his mother could advance her career as a civilian computer programmer for the Army. While living in Washington, DC, Charles met his wife and best friend, Valerie. Valerie’s family was in Utah, so when the chance came to move closer to family they jumped on it and have never looked back. They love the incredible quality of life Utah has to offer. From their home in Salt Lake, they have traveled across the State - from Logan to Kanab to Moab to Myton (where one of Charles' grandfathers was born). They even talked Charles' mom into moving to Salt Lake. Charles and Valerie have two wonderful children - Claire and Charlie. But be careful if you ask Charles about his kids - once he starts talking about them, he is hard to stop. He enjoys coaching his daughter's recreational soccer team, and is looking forward to coaching her first t-ball season this summer. In his spare time, Charles can be found fixing something around the house (he is quite handy...for a lawyer), spending time with his family, or somewhat obsessively cheering on Real Salt Lake. Charles also enjoys softball and running slowly, though he did manage to win the stroller division of the 2013 YWCA Utah/Salt Lake Police Foundation Race Against Violence 5K.
  • BUSINESS EXPERIENCE: Charles comes into this candidacy with a wealth of business experience. Charles manages his family's farm and ranch operation, and is the fourth generation to manage the approximately 6,000 acre property. This has given Charles a direct understanding of the back-breaking work farmers and ranchers endure to maintain sustainable and efficient operations. Charles also understands how broad political issues play out on the ground - transportation, tax, energy, and environmental policies all affect the cost of production. Charles proudly serves on the board of trustees of the C.O. and Kittie Fenner Charitable Foundation, which manages and distributes scholarships and was established in honor of his great-grandparents and their farming and ranching legacy in Texas. Charles and Valerie also owned Three Forks Cafe (which they reluctantly closed when their executive chef was wooed away by one of Salt Lake’s most notable restaurants). Three Forks Cafe was recognized by the Salt Lake Tribune as a "hidden dining gem" and by City Weekly as the 2013 Best Reward for a Workout. Charles' restaurant experience comes in handy when he serves as a line cook at the annual Lower East Avenues Neighborhood Breakfast.
  • CANDIDACY: During his time in the Attorney General's Office, Charles has come to appreciate the value of public service and what a committed group of professional lawyers can accomplish for the State. Unfortunately, Charles has also seen how the Office's leaders have lost sight of their Constitutional duties. The Utah Constitution says that the Attorney General shall, first and foremost, "be the legal adviser of the State officers" - but recent leaders have lost sight of this duty by politicizing the Office. Charles will see that this duty is fulfilled. Utah deserves a strong legal adviser as Attorney General, not a political adviser. Service. Leadership. Integrity. That is what Charles will bring back to the Attorney General's Office.
Monday, July 14, 2014 - 11:22

We have had some great press over the last couple of weeks resulting from our Campaign Kick Off and Charles' plans for bringing real reform to the Office of the Attorney General.  In case you missed it, links to the various news stories can be found below.
 

ABC 4 Utah: Democratic challenger calls for reform at Attorney General's Office

The Salt Lake Tribune: Democratic A.G. candidate criticizes office morale, ethics and Legal twist: Candidate must take leave to run against boss 

KUTV: Things heat up in the race for Utah Attorney General

The Davis Clipper: Democratic AG candidate makes pitch for local voters

The Deseret News: More needs to be done to restore confidence in A.G.'s office, Democratic candidate says

KUER: Democrat Charles Stormont Calls for Reform as He Kicks of His Campaing for Attorney General

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 13:21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    Contact: David Billings
Wednesday, June 25, 2014                                     801-230-4071

STORMONT ON TENTH CIRCUIT’S DECISION OVERTURNING AMENDMENT 3

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - As Attorney General, Charles A. Stormont said that he would immediately drop the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of the federal appeals court’s ruling in Kitchen v. Herbert, affirming that Amendment 3 is unconstitutional.

“This appeal is an enormous waste of money and we should be fighting to protect people’s rights, not to take them away. The state has no business dictating how people build their families, and the State should never tell children or their parents that they are second class citizens,” Stormont said Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

“As your attorney general, I will protect everyone’s rights and not pick and choose which rights to defend. From the right to marry who you love to the right to bear arms, my pledge to Utahns is that I will stand up for all your constitutional rights and follow the law, not political trade winds.”

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 11:09

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            Contact: Valerie Stormont
Wednesday, June 25, 2014                             801-930-0753

CHARLES A. STORMONT KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN FOR UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL

Salt Lake City, UT- Charles A. Stormont today began an unpaid leave of absence from the Attorney General’s office and kicked off his campaign against incumbent Sean Reyes.

“John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff have left a cloud over the Office - and Sean Reyes has done nothing to remove that cloud,” said Stormont. “Before today, I worked in the office, and I can tell you that no real change has occurred.  The superficial changes we’ve heard about in the press are not moving things at a pace that is needed to restore the confidence of the people of Utah in their AG’s Office or to restore morale of the many hard working public servants in that office.  All Mr. Reyes has done is shuffled the cards, but we are still playing with the same deck.”

Stormont laid out his plan for bringing real reform to the Attorney General’s Office.  Stormont intends to create an independent State Ethics Office that will both train government employees on their legal obligations and give State employees and citizens a resource for reporting unethical behavior; implement best practices used by every major law firm by assigning more than one attorney to each case, encouraging a culture of collaboration and ethical case management; and remove the current Attorney General’s oppressive gag order, empowering public servants to speak up in the face of bad conduct.

Stormont is a public servant who has worked in the AG’s office for six years. Stormont decided to run for office in order to give Utahns a real choice and real change. A detailed  biography and picture are available online at http://www.utdem.org/stormont.

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Monday, June 23, 2014 - 16:32

Today, the Salt Lake Tribune covered Charles' legally required leave of absence from his day job in the Attorney General's Office.

"'It’s a statutory requirement because I’m a merit employee of the state,' Stormont explains. Elected officials, of course, need not take leaves as they seek reelection."  The leave is required after Tuesday's primary election, and Charles' official leave begins on Wednesday.

We are holding a press conference on Wednesday, June 25th at 10 am in front of the Matheson Courthouse to kick off the campaign.  The press conference will be followed by other events throughout the week, culminating in our Kick Off Celebration on Friday night from 6 pm - 8 pm at Wheeler Historic Farm.  Keep an eye on the website, Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the week.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 12:31

Charles is officially kicking off his campaign.  Charles will be campaigning full-time until Election Day when the voters elect him as the next Attorney General of Utah. We are excited, and we want to celebrate.

While two former Attorneys General just had their homes searched by the FBI, Charles wants to stand up and give the people of Utah an independent voice for justice.  Charles is a real lawyer who will stop senseless lawsuits that deprive Utahns of their constitutional rights and will bring about real ethics reform. 

Please join us at Wheeler Historic Farm (6351 S 900 E) on Friday, June 27th from 6 pm - 8 pm and be a part of giving Utah an Attorney General we can all be proud of. 

We'll have food, drinks, snow-cones, and face painting.  You can meet Charles, get a yard sign, and sign-up to volunteer.  We look forward to seeing you there!
 

Eventbrite - Stormont for AG Campaing Kick-off

Monday, June 2, 2014 - 22:14

CHARLES A. STORMONT ADDRESSES SEARCH WARRANTS AT HOMES OF FORMER AGs

June 2, 2014

Press Statement

Contact: Charles A. Stormont, charles@stormont4ag.com, 801.810.7049

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 2, 2014

Salt Lake City, UT- Charles A. Stormont today responded to reports from numerous media outlets that search warrants were being executed at the homes of former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow.  Stormont said “I have a great deal of respect for the process being followed by Sim Gill and Troy Rawlings as they work to ensure a thorough and complete investigation of the former Attorneys General.”

Stormont continued: “It is my hope that the voters recognize their role in the governance of our great state this November.  That process is incredibly important, and we should not forget that the same delegates who helped bring us Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow, also helped bring us Sean Reyes as the current Attorney General.  It is time for an independent voice to lead the Attorney General's Office so that the people of Utah can have faith that the law is being enforced fairly and properly, without influence from political forces.”

Stormont is the Democratic candidate in this year’s special election for Attorney General.  As an attorney for the state for the past six years, Stormont has witnessed the fallout resulting from mismanagement of the Attorney General’s Office under Swallow and Shurtleff.  He decided to run for office to restore public service and fidelity to the law as bedrock principles of the office.

# # #

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 10:39

We have made it through the first stretch of the campaign, culminating in the Utah Democratic Convention, where Charles was honored to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination as Attorney General.

Since filing for office on March 18th, Charles has traveled over 1000 miles, attending as many county conventions as possible. From Cache County to Washington County and many places in between, we have had the opportunity to address dedicated delegates and meet incredible candidates.  (Media coverage of his trip to the Washington County Democratic Convention can be found here and here.)  

He attended a forum at the Hinckley Institute of Politics on Restoring Public Trust in the AG’s Office, featuring the current Attoreny General.  The Salt Lake TribuneKUTV, and Fox News all covered the event and Charles’ comments.

Charles also had the opportunity to sit down for an interview with Bob Henline of Q Salt Lake, who noted: "Charles Stormont is certainly not a typical politician. He’s thoughtful almost to the point of being reserved, but surprisingly very direct and candid in his responses to questions about his candidacy and philosophy."

We’re often asked how the campaign is going.  It is incredibly busy, but energizing, exciting, and humbling.  Quiet moments when our kids are in bed used to be spent watching The Big Bang Theory.  Now we sit with our computers in our laps knocking things off of our to-do lists.  At times it can seem overwhelming, but when we go to a county convention and meet people who are dedicated to the political process, we know it is worth every ounce of time and energy we have.  The outflowing of support we have received brings so much energy, and helps prepare us for what is to come.

We are incredibly excited by the buzz around the campaign.  We have heard from people statewide - Republicans and Democrats - who recognize the need to get politics out of the Attorney General’s Office.  And we know we couldn’t have gotten this far without incredible support from our family, friends, and volunteers.  If you would like to join our team of volunteers e-mail us at volunteers@stormont4ag.com.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 21:53

I read with some interest the Deseret News’ Op-Ed “A mom and a dad” on April 6, 2014. There can be little doubt that family structure matters for children.  But the steps taken by the State today cross a serious line - here’s an article describing how the State is attempting to block adoptions.

In one sense, I fit the definition of “traditional marriage” - I am married and have two wonderful children. But my father died when I was three, so I was raised by a single mother who worked tirelessly to give me countless opportunities. Whether intended or not, the Deseret News’ focus on only traditional marriage demeans her efforts and accomplishments - and the myriad ways in which parenting affects our children - which I find disappointing. As a matter of personal responsibility, I believe we should take care before making statements that unnecessarily undermine and berate countless families and their innumerable structures. We are a melting pot, not a nation where one size fits all.

My disappointment is heightened when a broader perspective is brought to bear on the arguments being advanced in support of Amendment 3. Supporters of Amendment 3 laud the State’s defense of traditional marriage. Lost in the dialogue is any discussion of what the State’s argument is actually attempting to secure: state control of marriage and our families (or as the State puts it “democratic control”).

The State’s interference with adoptions today highlights the danger of such a position. Fortunately for all of us, our Founding Fathers had the foresight to ensure that certain parts of our lives are secure from State interference. I celebrate this foresight, and enjoy knowing that my children will never be told by the State who they should or must marry, how many children they are permitted to have (or not have), or when they can make any of those decisions. Those decisions will be left to them and whoever they choose to invite into their decision-making process. But that process is intimate and personal, and the State has no business in it. Thankfully, our Founding Fathers made sure of that.*

They also made sure that anyone who disagrees has the freedom to advocate for alternatives, provided they do not cross the line of passing laws that violate fundamental freedoms. Utahns should step back and carefully consider the implications of “democratic control” of how we structure our families, lest the values we all hold dearly become subject to the whims of politicians.  

It is time for an Attorney General who knows when lines are being crossed that infringe on fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. It is time for an Attorney General who will not waste taxpayer resources pushing a fight that delays the inevitable, benefits no one, and brings great harm to many families.

*A proper Constitutional analysis does provide for times when the State can step in if there is a real danger to society or our children (e.g., incest, child abuse), but we should all pause when the State is trying to take that too far, as it does with its arguments to support Amendment 3 and when it interferes with a family’s adoption.    

Friday, March 21, 2014 - 11:01

Wow! More Media Coverage...

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Charles had the great privilege of leading the Pledge of Allegiance at his neighborhood caucus and the chance to introduce himself as a candidate. Charles has been on The Doug Wright Show, The Rod Arquette Show, and The Dabakis Factor. Fox 13 News had a great story about the race and we made the front page of The Salt Lake Tribune. We really appreciate the opportunity the media has given our campaign to put ourselves out in front of the voters.

Fox 13 News: "Stormont said he would like to meet with Reyes to see if both campaigns would make transparency pledges and set contribution limits."

The Salt Lake Tribune: On the defense of Amendment 3 "'The arguments that are being put forward are not meritorious ones and I wouldn’t spend taxpayer money pushing a fight just for the sake of fighting,' he said."

The Salt Lake Tribune also covered the Office's new press policy, on which Charles had a chance to comment (read all the way to the end!). 

 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 09:54

Charles officially announced his candidacy yesterday in the Rotunda at the State Capitol and filed with the Lieutenant Governor's office.  We are so excited about the media coverage and are humbled and grateful for all of the support we have received.  Here are some links to articles and news clips so far:

The Deseret News: "A Democrat hasn't held the attorney general's office since 2000 and might have an opportunity to retake it given the past year under Republican control."

KUER: "Stormont says he is a public servant and not a politician and that his experience working in the AG’s office means he understands how to get it back on track."

ABC 4 Utah coverage of the Democratic Caucuses:  “ 'These are my neighbors, these are lot of my friends, even some colleagues are here, this is a way for them to know who I am,' said Charles A. Stormont, (D) Candidate for Utah Attorney General."

The Washington Times: "Stormont, who handles civil cases related to the Utah Department of Transportation, called himself a public servant who wants to restore public trust in the office."

Substance and Service over Politics and Ideology

The Utah Constitution says that the Attorney General shall, first and foremost, "be the legal adviser of the State officers.”  Recent leaders have lost sight of this duty by politicizing the Office for personal gain, and the Office suffered for it.

By contrast, Charles is a public servant who has worked on the front-lines of the Attorney General’s Office for six years. Charles decided to run for Attorney General because he was fed up with the stories being reported about abuses in the Office. He is not running to make a name for himself or to position himself for higher office. Charles is different - he is not a politician. He is passionate about public service and the law.  He will put those principles first, not a personal or political agenda.

Charles has refused to take money from pay-day lenders and other businesses that receive hundreds of consumer complaints because those complaints should be scrutinized by the Attorney General’s Office.  These businesses should not get a free pass because of campaign contributions.  Charles puts his commitment to protecting consumers to work when he volunteers his time and legal skills to defend consumers against debt collectors in court through a program that he helped create at the Utah State Bar.  It is that dedication to public service that makes Charles different.

Ending Abuse of the Public’s Trust

It is time to make real changes to prevent future abuses of the public trust. Charles has worked in the AG’s Office for six years. He does not have a learning curve when it comes to making real changes for the better to make sure Utah never has to worry about whose interests the Attorney General is serving.

Charles will create a State Ethics Office to train government officials on their legal obligations to the public.  The State Ethics Office will also investigate and (if necessary) prosecute violations of laws at every level of government in Utah.  Similar offices exist in major corporations around the world, and it is something that is long overdue in Utah government.  The State Ethics Office will have a hotline so that whistleblowers will have a place to voice their concerns and so that investigators can get to work when issues are raised.  Never again will government employees be able to claim ignorance for their failure to comply with their legal obligations.  

Charles will also modernize the AG’s Office to make it like other large law firms by assigning cases to teams of attorneys.  With more eyes are on more cases, Charles’ reforms will have two positive impacts.  First, it will eliminate the opportunity for a few bad apples to isolate and intimidate public servants as has been reported under prior administrations.  Second, our tax dollars will go further because work product and office morale will improve.  These changes are long overdue.

None of these changes will cost the taxpayers a dime.  Charles will fund his reforms by cutting his opponent’s bloated executive management team.

Protecting Children

As a father of two, keeping our kids safe from predators is personal to Charles.  That’s why Charles will work to bring back administrative subpoenas that his opponent thoughtlessly eliminated.  These important law enforcement tools stop child predators and are critical to protecting our children in certain situations.  Checks need to be put in place to ensure we also respect the rights of citizens to be free from unreasonable searches, but we must restore those tools that are needed to protect our children.  

Charles will also work to resolve a budgeting crisis in the AG’s Office.  When the Office spends hundreds of thousands of dollars litigating politically motivated cases, other parts of the Office suffer.  That is why the attorneys in the Child Protection Department are currently overloaded, handling two to three times as many cases as recommended by outside experts.  Charles will focus the Office on real priorities that actually protect children.

Protecting Consumers

For too long, politics has had a hand in how laws are enforced in Utah.  We need to make it clear that the rules apply to everyone, and provide our law enforcement officers with the support they need to do their jobs.

As your Attorney General, Charles will not shy away from investigating and, if appropriate, prosecuting companies that are misleading consumers.  And Charles will not take money from them to help his campaign.  The AG’s Office will not be for sale on Charles’ watch.

Protecting Everyone’s Constitutional Rights

Charles will not hesitate to protect every Utahns’ rights — from the right to marry who you love to your right to bear arms — whether or not those rights are popular with the Legislature or the Governor.  The Attorney General’s job is not to pick and choose which rights to defend based on how it polls, but to protect every Utahns’ constitutional rights.  

As Attorney General, Charles will take his oath of office seriously by advising the Legislature and Governor when proposed lawsuits have little chance of success and are certain to be a waste of taxpayers’ money.  

Marriage

The institution of marriage is sacred, and incredibly personal.  One of the brilliant things our Founding Fathers did was to recognize that there are certain areas of our lives where the state has no business telling anyone what to do.  Although the Tenth Amendment reserves many powers to the states, it also recognizes that states cannot intrude on our fundamental rights.  Thankfully, the Fourteenth Amendment protects each of us from state intrusion into intimate family decisions. Charles will stand up for marriage — for everyone. He will not advocate for laws or legal interpretations that would empower the state to tell him or anyone how they should structure their families. And he will not waste taxpayer dollars fighting against marriage.

Public Lands

Utah is blessed with some of the world’s most spectacular lands that we all share. The Attorney General’s job is not to pander to ideologues and their lobbyists to score political points at the expense of our state’s natural beauty. Charles will bring common sense leadership back to the AG’s Office.

Should we pursue protection of public rights-of-way on federal land?  Of course, there are legitimate laws that provide for these actions.  But Charles will also exercise judgment and stop wasting taxpayer resources on litigation that has no legitimate chance of succeeding. Instead, Charles will focus on valid cases and work with local stakeholders to ensure that Utah’s interests are protected and our public lands remain an incredible resource for future generations.

The Right to Bear Arms

The right to bear arms as provided for in the Second Amendment is personal to Charles.  When Charles was a boy, there was a man stalking his mom, but no laws existed at the time to keep the man away from his family.  The local Sheriff took it upon himself to teach Charles and his family how to shoot and how to safely keep their guns for personal protection.  To this day, Charles enjoys going to the gun range.  Charles will protect responsible gun-owners’ constitutional rights.

Donate

Checks can be mailed to:

Friends of Charles A Stormont, P.O. Box 3505, Salt Lake City, UT 84110

 

Contributions to Friends of Charles A. Stormont are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes. (See IRC sections 527, 6113.)

Utah does not impose any limits on contributions from individuals, but we are required to disclose the amount of all contributions received, as well as the name and address of each contributor.  See Utah Code 20A-11-101 et seq.

Volunteer

There will be a plethora of ways to help with Charles' campaign.  E-mail us at volunteer@stormont4ag.com and we will add you to our list of volunteers. 

You can also host a House Party.  You invite some friends over, Charles shows up, and we have a great grassroots way to get our message out and grow our campaign.

 

Questions or comments? Reach us via this form, or email us at charles@stormont4ag.com.

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05/17/2014 - 07:30: Law Day 5k Run & Walk

Charles and Valerie will be running in the Law Day 5k Run & Walk this coming Saturday.  It is a great fundraiser for an incredible organization, And Justice for All, which makes sure all Utahns have access to the justice system.


06/27/2014 - 18:00: Campaign Kick-Off

Charles is officially kicking off his campaign.  Charles will be campaigning full-time until Election Day when the voters elect him as the next Attorney General of Utah. We are excited, and we want to celebrate.