Replacement Process Begins for Secretary of State
Written by Andrew-Rossi on February 13, 2018
For just the second time in recent history, the Governor of Wyoming must appoint a replacement for a statewide elected official.
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray resigned Friday amid allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred in the 1980s. That leaves a critical position unfilled – not only does the office of Secretary of State hold key responsibilities in the state government, but that person is next in line for succession should something happen to the Governor.
Geri Hockhalter, who has served as a former chairman of the Park County Republican Party, says the last time this situation occurred was after the death of Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas in 2007. At that point, the state Republican party nominated three people to succeed Thomas, and John Barrasso was chosen from the nominees by Governor Dave Freudenthal. Barrasso was later elected to that position by the citizens of Wyoming.
Hockhalter, who was part of the appointment process in 2007, says that many people don’t realize that any citizen of Wyoming has the right to apply for that job.
Hockhalter says that the process begins with the state party that was affiliated with that position. In this case, as Ed Murray was a republican, the state committeemen and committeewomen for the local Republican parties will accept and sort through resumes from anyone interested in filling the position.
Deputy Secretary of State Karen Wheeler is currently filling the role until Governor Matt Mead appoints someone to the position. So far, Republican Leland Christensen of Alta and Democrat Jim Byrd of Cheyenne have both announced their intention to run for the office.