Rep. Chuck Gray’s primary election win on Tuesday for the position of Wyoming secretary of state has already caused the resignation of at least one employee in the office.
Gray, who is all but certain to become the officeholder of the second most powerful position in the state as there is no Democratic nominee, questioned the security and integrity of Wyoming’s elections during the campaign and that rhetoric is driving Monique Meese out.
Meese, the communications and policy director for the office, said she’s accepted a job elsewhere and it’s because of Gray.
“He’s called into question the integrity of this office and now he’s going to run it, and yuck,” Meese told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday.
Meese has worked in the office for three and a half years and said she has accepted a job as deputy county attorney in Laramie County.
She said when Gray entered the race in May, she started looking for other job opportunities. The day after he won the election, she accepted the position. Prior to the election, she had been offered the job.
“The incoming Secretary of State has campaigned in a way where he has called into question the integrity of people who work in this office,” Meese said. “It’s certainly not all of the reason (for resigning), but I don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t recognize the amazing attributes of the people of this office.”
Meese said she expects that other people in her office, staffed with many veteran members, will resign as well.
Gray didn’t respond directly to Meese’s decision to step down but did tell Cowboy State Daily, “I look forward to working with the great professionals at the Secretary of State’s office and serving all the people of Wyoming.”
During an August forum, he acknowledged that there might be certain people in the office who will not want to work for him.
“The insiders down there at the Capital, a lot of them don’t want things to improve,” Gray said during the Wyoming PBS forum. “I’ve seen the Secretary of State staff work and I do believe I can work with them towards getting this election integrity vision.”
He said he plans to initiate an exhaustive performance review of the office.
“By questioning the election, it calls into question the integrity of the office,” Meese said. “His comments imply people in this office allow fraud to occur.”
Meese said she respects the will of the voters but is disappointed with how they voted. She said she would not have started looking for other jobs if Gray never entered the race.