Any appointment of an interim Secretary of State in Wyoming will have to wait until at least late this month.
With Secretary of State Ed Buchanan announcing he will step down on Thursday, the Wyoming Republican Party must choose candidates for the governor to select an appointed candidate from.
State Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, who won the Republican nomination for this role in the August primary, is not eligible for appointment because he is currently serving an active term in the legislature.
Corey Steinmetz, Wyoming Republican Party national committeeman, said due to public notice requirements, the party will have to call a special meeting to select three finalists for Gov. Mark Gordon to choose a temporary Secretary of State from.
“There’s probably no way we can have it until the end of the month,” Steinmetz said.
Buchanan has said he will not submit his official resignation letter until his last day in office on Thursday. The GOP must wait until Buchanan submits his resignation letter before it can initiate the process of finding a replacement for him.
The Republican Party’s Central Committee is meeting this weekend in Riverton, but due to the time period between Buchanan’s expected announcement and the convening of this meeting on Friday, cannot legally proceed with selecting candidates until giving at least 10 days of public notice.
These meetings require some party members to drive many hours and pay for lodging, food and other miscellaneous costs.
If Buchanan gives his resignation on Thursday, the party will have until Sept. 30 to convene a special meeting.
Buchanan is leaving his post to take a district court judge position in Goshen County.
Frank Eathorne, chairman of the Wyoming GOP, wrote a letter to Buchanan earlier this month, requesting he stay on the job through the general election.
Buchanan said he will not adhere to this request. He said county clerks do most of the work in running the state’s elections and are good at it. Buchanan said the judgeship needs to be filled. It has been vacant since Aug. 3.
“It’s pretty tragic but…I definitely have respect for Secretary Buchanan and sometimes that’s just the way things work,” Steinmetz said.