Campbell County Candidate Questionnaire: Kendra Anderson for County Clerk

Kendra Anderson is running for Campbell County Clerk. (Kendra Anderson)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — County 17 has sent out a questionnaire to those running in the primary election in August. The following are the answers from Kendra Anderson, who is running for Campbell County Clerk.

  1. Please introduce yourself (include your name and hometown, please) and describe your educational and employment history. My name is Kendra Anderson. I grew up in Round Mountain, Nevada, but my family and I proudly call Wyoming home. I am the Chief Deputy County Clerk and have been for the past three years. Before being promoted to the Chief Deputy, I was the Elections Coordinator and previously worked in the County Commissioners Office. Before employment with Campbell County, I worked in accounts payable and human resources and owned a successful small business.
  2. Why have you decided to run for this office? Because of my experience as the Chief Deputy Clerk, I am passionate about what we do in the Clerk’s Office and the people I work with. I want to make the transition of Susan Saunders retirement as seamless as possible. There are projects such as our new financial system and getting the land records online that I want to see through completion. Elections are a big topic right now, and I want to be able to continue to work with the citizens and educate them on our election equipment and procedures to ensure our citizens are confident in our local elections.
  3. What experience and/or educational background do you have that makes you a great fit for the office you are running for? As previously noted, I currently serve as the Chief Deputy Clerk. I have worked side-by-side with the County Clerk for several years, providing me with the working knowledge of the day-to-day responsibilities. The Clerk’s Office’s role is integral to every county department’s operations. I have demonstrated that I am willing to dedicate the time the position demands, frequently working evenings and weekends to ensure our responsibilities are completed on time and accurately. There isn’t any aspect of the Clerk’s Office I’m not knowledgeable about, and I will put that knowledge and experience to work from day one. Being the Chief Deputy County Clerk is the best experience someone can have for this position.
  4. What not strictly legally required criteria do you believe a person in this office should have? How do you meet those criteria? The most important criteria required for this office are experience and dedication. It would be difficult to walk into this position without experience with all the duties the Clerk is responsible for, from elections, titles, marriage licenses, recording documents, preparing budgets, etc. You also need leadership and customer service skills in this office or any office. I possess these skills plus more. Like experience, dedication is critical as the County Clerk frequently works long hours fulfilling the position’s multiple demands and statutory obligations. I know first-hand the time commitment required for the office, and I am ready to continue showing my dedication by meeting the numerous demands day in and day out.
  5. What experience do you have in directly working with public officials across Campbell County, and how have you met any challenges you encountered? If you do not have direct experience working with public officials, what is your plan to ensure a positive, productive relationship with them? I have more than ten years of experience working with public officials. I regularly attend Commissioners meetings and meetings with public officials, ranging from local to state and federal elected officials, and I have developed good working relationships with many of those elected officials. For example, in 2012, I organized Capital for a Day with the state elected officials and all levels of Campbell County public officials. During redistricting, comments and communications from the public, state legislators, and the State Legislative Office flooded our office daily as we worked to develop maps that reflected the needs of our community. At any point, if I perceived miscommunications, I picked up the phone and called people to work out the issues and get everyone on the same page. In the end, we made it through redistricting with a positive outcome.
  6. What are your goals for this office, and how do you plan to accomplish them? My goals include: continuing to ensure our elections are free and fair, secure and transparent so that the public trusts our election process; complete moving land records to an online platform, making them accessible to everyone without requiring a trip to the courthouse; completing the county’s transition to a new enterprise and financial system (our current system has been in place since 1991, and technology has changed tremendously since then); and working to ensure the staff in the Clerk’s Office have the tools, resources and support to serve the public most efficiently and cost-effectively possible.
  7. How will you effectively manage taxpayer dollars? The County Clerk’s office has always maintained a conservative budget, which I will continue to do. I will also coordinate with other departments and the Board of Commissioners to ensure they all have accurate information to make the best fiscal decisions possible while continuing to watch departments budgets and keep open communication with them about their budgets and spending.
  8. How will you ensure transparency and accountability in the office you desire? I am keenly aware that as the County Clerk, I work for the people of Campbell County. I have an open-door policy and will always make it a priority to answer any questions or concerns the public has. In addition, implementing the new financial system will make it much easier to provide requested information in a clean and understandable format.
  9. How will you maximize voter and voting security as well as voting access? One of the aspects of our election process many aren’t aware of is the public testing process we use to test the voting machines and ballots prior to any election. I will make it a priority to communicate those opportunities for the public to come watch the process and ask questions before elections so that everyone can feel comfortable with the integrity and security of our elections. In addition, I will continue to work with the Secretary of State and the County Clerks Association to ensure our state statutes are clear and provide meaningful safeguards to protect free and fair elections.
  10. What do you believe is the best way to count votes? Wyoming Statute states that ballots designed to be counted by a machine shall not be determined subjectively by human tabulation. Machines tabulate the ballots consistently and take the human prejudice out of ballot tabulation. In addition, voting machines keep the ballot private as required by Article 6 of the Wyoming Constitution, which states all voters shall be guaranteed absolute privacy in the preparation of their ballots, and the secrecy of the ballot shall be made compulsory. Therefore, I believe the best and fairest way is to tabulate votes by machines tested through an open process in which the public is involved.
  11. Is there anything else voters should know about you? Voters should know I am genuinely passionate about working for Campbell County and the citizens of Campbell County. I care about the people I work with and want to continue to work with them as we serve the public. Although I did not grow up in Campbell County, my family and I have made it our home. My passion, experience, and dedication make me the most qualified candidate for County Clerk.

Clarification, June 21, 2022: Question 4 was later clarified for candidates, including both candidates for County Clerk, as “Do you believe there are additional qualifications that would help the person who will hold this office be best suited for the position? If so, how do you meet those additional qualifications? And in what ways can you improve as a leader?”

Mary Stroka is the Community Reporter for County 17. She's new to Wyoming and has loved getting to know the area. She covers crime, education, faith, government, and policy for County 17. Feel free to contact her at mary@county17.com with your news tips and ideas.