County and town leadership roles discussed as election approaches 

Stephanie Wilson
Posted 3/27/24

WHEATLAND —  In the upcoming 2024 elections, voters across the United States will head to the polls to cast their ballots for federal and state offices; and in many cases, county or city …

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County and town leadership roles discussed as election approaches 


WHEATLAND —  In the upcoming 2024 elections, voters across the United States will head to the polls to cast their ballots for federal and state offices; and in many cases, county or city offices.  

Becoming an elected official involves so much more than getting ‘your’ name on a ballot and ‘winning’. Of course winning the election is merely the beginning of assuming a public office where one represents the interests of their constituents. 

A variety of factors are involved including eligibility; but that eligibility does not necessarily come in the form of a hefty degree or years and years involved in government. Citizenship, age, and residency are some of the criteria necessary for eligibility. For example, in the United States, a person must be at least 25 years old to run for the House of Representatives, and 30 years old to run for a seat in the Senate. 

Platte County clerk Malcolm Ervin answered some questions regarding requirements, eligibility, and responsibilities of elected officials, and a list of openings on the 2024 ballot. 

“The 2024 primary election ballot will feature a US Senator and Representative, a Wyoming State Senator and Representative and one County Commissioner,” Ervin said. “The top two vote recipients from each political party will be forwarded to the general election.”  

Locally, two Wheatland Councilmembers, two Guernsey Councilmembers and one Chugwater councilmember will also appear on the ‘24 ballot. “There will also be an opening for Chugwater Mayor,” Ervin added. “Three trustees of Platte County School Districts #1 and #2 will be on the ballot as well as two district supervisors for the Resource Conservation District.”  
A handful of other positions will appear in the general election including four Hospital District directors, two directors of the 1-F Fire Distrct, one director from the Glendo area for the 2-F Fire District, two directors of the Antelope Gap Fire District and one director of the Guernsey Rural Fire District.  

While this is not a comprehensive list of elected positions opening up, it does give an overview of the number of elected seats that will be under consideration as we approach the election.  

“Time requirements from an elected individual vary based on the office being sought,” Ervin explained. “For Commissioners, it requires two meetings per month and there is always the possibility of special or emergency meetings. Commissioners also field a number of phone calls on dates when they are not meeting,” Ervin said. “For other boards, it just depends upon which board the individual is serving on as time commitments vary significantly.” 

Some elected positions are paid and some are voluntary positions, according to Ervin. “Special district directors such as school board or fire district directors, there is no pay. They are essentially volunteers,” he said, “for County Commissioners, the pay is $27,600 per year with health benefits and retirement. Again, the compenstation depends upon the office the individual is seeking.” 

Responsibilities for the elected offical also vary. Specifically for County Commissioners, they are tasked with oversseing roads and buildings. “The Commissioners are also responsible for approving a budget and administering land use plans,” Ervin said. “They can also appoint numerous board members who will administer various roles of the county such as the library, fair board, senior houseing, and planning and zoning.”  

For those seeking placement on the ballot, the deadlines of entering an election race the time to file is between May 16 and May 31, according to the clerk. “For special distsrict races, the time to file is between August 7 and August 27,” Ervin added. “For most positions, one must be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of the jurisdiction for which the office they seek is responsible.” 

 Those running for an office must not be a felon or have had rights restored.  

“A candidate must not be adjuicated mentally incompetent – though there is an arguement that anyone who seeks public office might be mentally incompetent,” Ervin joked.  

Aspiring officals also need to build a campaign stratgey. Raising funds and connecting with voters is a must. This involves creating a platform, attending debates, and engaging in outreach efforts. 

An understanding of issues that affect the community, state, or country is critical is operating a successful campaign. The candidate should have a good grasp of policy matters, economics, and social concerns. Building relationships with political parties, interest groups, and community leaders is also a major factor in building an election platform. Endorsements and other affiliations can greatly impact the chances on winning an election.  

In the end, upholding ethical standards is a vital part of conducting oneself in the public domain as an elected offical. Transparency, honesty, and accountability are an expectation of those voted into office. Most of their conduct is public, and meetings and decisions are commonly made in a public forum where community members are encouraged to attend.  

Cadidates’ motives for running for office vary. Some candidates may have a deep respect and compassion for their home-town or county and hope to perpetuate good leadership and beneficial policies. Others may have personal and/or business reasons or opinions that they feel could be addressed more ‘effectively’ if they held an office.  

Either way, the role of an elected offical is not for the faint of heart. Resilience and perseverence are qualities that must sustain the elected. Candidates, and those elected, face public criticism, financial and policy setbacks, and competition from opposing parties. Ultimately, once elected, those in service must represent their constituents to the best of their ability and work toward the betterment of the city, the state, and the country.