Elections are just around the corner
Candidates need to prepare for elections
April 14, 2022
While the date of the 2022 Primary Election—August 16—is more than four months away, those considering a run for Saratoga Town Council will be able to file their candidacy as soon as May 12.
It was announced during the April 5 meeting of Saratoga’s governing body that candidates for municipal seats would be able to file beginning May 12. This election cycle, nearly every seat on the council is open with three council seats and one mayor seat set to appear on the ballot. The term for Councilmember Ben Spaulding, who was elected in 2020, expires in 2024.
Mayor Creed James was initially elected to the Saratoga Town Council alongside Spaulding in 2020. He was appointed to the role of mayor, however, on January 5, 2021. The mayoral vacancy filled by James occurred on August 18, 2020 with the resignation of Mayor John Zeiger. Though there had been attempts to fill the vacant seat prior to James’ appointment, any nomination presented by one of the four remaining council members resulted in a stalemate.
Zeiger’s resignation occurred on the same day as the 2020 Primary Election with just two years left in the term. This meant there was no time to put the seat on the ballot, and so a nomination would have to be made from the council. Per Wyoming State Statute, while an appointment to the council can be made from any member of the public who expresses interest, a mayoral vacancy can only be made from the sitting council.
When asked by the Saratoga Sun if we would run for a full four-year term, James stated he would not be running. This leaves the mayoral seat open for candidates, with the term expiring in 2028.
One two-year council seat will appear on the ballot, with this seat currently held by Councilmember D’Ron Campbell. Campbell has been appointed twice to the council with her first appointment on August 4, 2021, which came after the untimely passing of the late Steve Wilcoxson over Memorial Day Weekend. She was one of three who expressed an interest in the seat, with Glee Johnson and Michelle Cook also putting in letters of interest. Johnson, however, had withdrawn her letter and Campbell was appointed by Zeiger following an interview in executive session.
Campbell’s appointment to that vacancy ended January 5, 2021 with Spaulding having been elected to one of two council seats. Following James’ appointment to the mayoral vacancy, this left a vacancy on the council. Though James had been elected to serve a four year term, his vacation of the seat meant it would appear on the ballot in the next election. Campbell was appointed to the council again and was one of three candidates with Ron Hutchins and Marty Blake being the other two candidates.
When asked by the Sun, Campbell said she was considering a run for one of the two four-year terms.
Two four-year council seats will be on the ballot, with these seats currently held by Councilmember Jon Nelson and Councilmember Ron Hutchins.
Nelson was elected to his term in 2018 along with former Councilmember Bob Keel and Zeiger and is the only one who remains on the council. Keel, who served as mayor pro-tem from August 18, 2020 until January 5, 2021, officially resigned from the council on April 6, 2021.
Hutchins, who had been one of three candidates for the vacancy left when James was appointed as mayor, was the only person who put in a letter of interest for the new vacancy. He was appointed to finish out the term on April 20, 2021 with the term expiring December 31, 2022.
Neither Nelson nor Hutchins have expressed interest in running for a second term.
Filing for Saratoga Town Council opens May 12. Those interested in filing can obtain an application at the Saratoga Town Hall between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The filing deadline officially closes May 27, 2022 at 5 p.m.