The Campbell County Republican Party acted appropriately in selecting the three candidates to fill the open commission seat, according to the Wyoming Republican Party.
According to WY Stat § 16-4-201, neither the state or local-level Republican Parties fall under the Public Records Act.
As such, local GOP Chairwoman Vicki Kissack, despite being elected to her position, is under no statutory obligation to respond to a list of questions seeking clarification on how and why the party chose Troy McKeown, Jeff Raney, and Elgin Faber as suitable commission candidates.
The only obligation Kissack is under is to honor a promise to treat applications as public record and to distribute them without limitation as stated in a public notice from the Republican Party Central Committee on Nov. 2 when the commission vacancy was advertised.
Thus far, the county has received applications, resumes, and letters expressing interest from Elgin Faber and Troy McKeown.
In a letter to County 17, the state-level GOP stated that it does not participate in the process to fill vacancies in county office; however, they also did not identify any issue in the process or procedure used to select the three candidates.
Mitchell Edwards, legal counsel for the state Republican Party, said in a statement that the local GOP conducted the meeting on Nov. 15 in a manner nearly identical to past meetings.
Additionally, Edwards praised the local GOP for going “above and beyond by broadcasting its proceedings on [GPA-TV].”
“To our knowledge, such a meeting has not previously been publicly broadcast live,” Edwards said in the letter.
The state-level GOP also determined there to be no legal indication of a conflict of interest on the part of Kissack — who oversaw proceedings to replace her husband, Clark, on the commission — as none of the three candidates are immediate family members.
“We hope that the Board of County Commissioners will now fulfill its statutory duty to select one of those three persons to fill the vacancy in office for the remaining term,” Edwards concluded.
If the board fails to reach a decision during their Dec. 4 meeting, state statutes mandate that the matter will appear before a district judge, who can then appoint any “qualified elector” belonging to the Republican Party.
Click here to browse all referenced documentation regarding the three candidates for county commissioner.