Saying the state needs a stronger advocate for tough law enforcement, Salt Lake County Sheriff N.D. Hayward on Wednesday announced his support for attorney general candidate Paul Van Dam.

The announcement came as no surprise. Both men are Democrats and have known each other since Van Dam was a prosecutor and Hayward was a deputy sheriff 20 years ago.At a news conference Wednesday, Hayward criticized Republican incumbent Attorney General David L. Wilkinson for not developing strong ties with county attorneys or with the Legislature.

"I have concerns about the lack of response from the attorney general to local law enforcement agencies," Hayward said. "We've been told to deal only with the county attorney."

Van Dam served as Salt Lake county attorney from 1975 to 1979.