SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Republican Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has announced that he will not run for governor next year but instead will seek re-election.
"Mostly, it is a personal family decision," Shurtleff said Wednesday. "I've got three elementary-school-age children as well as two teenagers."
The demands of the governor's office would take too much away from his home life, he said.
Shurtleff said money also was a factor.
Possible Republican contenders include incumbent Mike Leavitt, and at least two multimillionaires, Merit Medical Chairman and CEO Fred Lampropoulos and former U.S. ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr.
Others include former Rep. Jim Hansen, state House Speaker Marty Stephens, former House Speaker Nolan Karras, Utah County Commissioner Gary Herbert and state Sen. Parley Hellewell.
Shurtleff expects a challenge to his re-election from the right wing of the Republican Party because of his stands favoring a hate-crimes law including protections for gays and lesbians and his opposition to a forfeiture law adopted by voters in a 2000 initiative.
State Republican Chairman Joe Cannon agrees Shurtleff will attract a re-election challenge from the party's right wing.
"There are a lot of people in our party who believe you're automatically evil once elected," he said. "But I would be astonished if (Shurtleff) had a primary" election challenge coming out of the Republican convention.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)