Mark Shurtleff

ST. GEORGE — Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has made up his mind: He's running for re-election one last time.

"Yeah, absolutely," he said in response to a Deseret Morning News reporter's questions Monday. "We have started so many things we have got to see through."

Speaking after the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council meeting at Dixie State College, Shurtleff said he still wants to finish what he started in investigating crimes within polygamy, fighting identity theft and battling drugs.

The populist Shurtleff said he's optimistic about his chances for re-election.

"It depends on whether another Republican challenges me," he said, adding that getting out of the GOP convention probably would be his biggest hurdle to re-election.

At times, Shurtleff's positions on a number of hot-button issues — including immigration, hate-crimes laws and a same-sex marriage amendment — have placed him at odds with members of his own party.

Shurtleff also has faced criticism for his investigations into crimes within polygamy, as well as his efforts to reach out and build bridges within the closed polygamous communities to get them to report abuse and neglect.

On Monday, he pushed the issue at the Utah POST Council meeting to keep the Hildale Town Marshal's Office under investigation. The town marshals have been facing scrutiny over their loyalties to Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs, who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

Shurtleff said his third run for office would be his last.

"There's one more race in this for me and that's it," he said. "I don't think anybody should be a lifetime elected official."

Shurtleff has spent a considerable amount of time in politics. He was a Salt Lake County commissioner before deciding to run for Utah attorney general in 2000, succeeding Democrat Jan Graham.

The attorney general said so far he is unaware of anyone else deciding to run against him.

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