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A Sheridan County judge appoints a new member of the county commission after members rejected multiple candidates

Sheridan County

Sheridan County judge Darci Phillips appointed Holly Jennings to fill a lone vacancy on the Sheridan County Commission last week. This comes after the commission had previously rejected three candidates that were put forth by the county GOP. The rejections drew the ire of the county GOP and Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray and led to jeers and threats of arrest from some meeting attendees alleging the commission hadn’t done their job.

The vacancy was left after the resignation of Allen Thompson in late August. Jennings was one of the three names put forth by the county GOP party and ran for a seat on the commission in the 2022 election, placing fourth in the vote tally. The top three were elected to the commission.

Now, having settled into her first week of commission duties, Jennings is grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of Sheridan County.

“My main goal has always been and always will be to bring a high level of professionalism and the county commissioners and all of the staff and everyone here has been very helpful and friendly to me,” she said. “I'm going to move forward doing the job that I've been appointed to do. And that's, I think that's all any of us can ask.”

Jennings has taken over several committee and liaison assignments that Thompson was responsible for until January, when they’re switched among other commissioners. This is Jennings's first elected position in government.

“Like any elected position, your first goal is to be a public servant, and that's what I see elected to office as and the first role of the commissioners, and then past that, of course, is the administration of the county, and all the different departments and in different cogs of the wheel that must work for everything to flow correctly,” she said. “It's really to prioritize citizens and make sure that they have transparency, that they have as much decreased burden of taxes on them as we can possibly make… then secondly, of course, to make sure that roads are being taken care of, and sewer and water systems are running smoothly and, pipes that need to be replaced or being replaced.”

Judge Phillips interviewed all three candidates prior to selecting Jennings. Jennings will fill out the remainder of Thompson’s term, which expires at the end of 2024.

Hugh Cook is Wyoming Public Radio's Northeast Reporter, based in Gillette. A fourth-generation Northeast Wyoming native, Hugh joined Wyoming Public Media in October 2021 after studying and working abroad and in Washington, D.C. for the late Senator Mike Enzi.
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