By Leo Wolfson, political reporter
The Wyoming Republican Party announced when it will convene to select interim Secretary of State Candidates
In nine days, the Wyoming Republican Party will help choose the next Secretary of State, albeit a temporary replacement.
On Wednesday, GOP State Chairman Frank Eathorne announced the party will convene on Sept. 25 to select a pool of three possible Secretary of State candidates. Gov. Mark Gordon is to then choose one of those picks to be the interim Secretary of State.
Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has delivered his official resignation and said his last day is Thursday. Buchanan has accepted the role of a judgeship in Goshen County.
State Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, who won the Republican nomination for Secretary of State in August, is running unopposed in the general election. Because the term he was elected for is still active through the end of the year, the Wyoming Constitution deems him ineligible to be appointed to the Secretary of State role.
The individual appointed will serve through the end of the year and oversee the upcoming general election. The winner of the general election for Secretary of State will take over in January.
Although the GOP is hosting a State Central Committee meeting in Riverton this weekend, it cannot engage the Secretary of State selection process because 10 days of public notice is required between the publishing of an announcement and the advertised meeting.
The party will meet at 1 p.m. next Saturday at the Wind River Recreation Center in Pavillion.
Fremont County GOP Chairman Ginger Bennett said the “economy of scale of time” related to the relatively central location of Pavilion within the state was the reason for Fremont County getting to host two different meetings within two weeks.
After the party hands off its selections, Gordon will have five days to choose a candidate.
The same appointment process was engaged in January to appoint a Superintendent of Public Instruction, which sparked a lawsuit from 16 plaintiffs across the state, including former State GOP Chairman and state legislator Tom Lubnau. The plaintiffs claimed the voting process taken to select the candidates violated the Wyoming and federal Constitution rule of “one person-one vote,” by allowing each county party the same three votes.
The lawsuit was quickly dismissed in court.
Lubnau said he and the prior plaintiffs do not plan to file another lawsuit if the same process of tallying votes takes place.