Ask the Newbie Politician

Well, I did it. I threw my hat into the ring.

My boss, the County Attorney (in Wyoming, he acts as both the civil representative of the county and the DA-like prosecutor), has been appointed to the bench. He has appointed me as his interim replacement, and I’m running for his job in November.

So, this weekend I entered a float in the local parade and handed out Otter Pops, made yard signs, lined up supporters for letters to the editor, wrote a press release announcing my candidacy, and made door-to-door campaign materials.

I’ve never done this before, and I’m a little nervous. The local County Commissioners are formally picking a replacement next week, and everyone I talk to seems to think I’m a shoe in for that. I am worried about the November election.

I decided to start this thread as sort of an on-line campaign diary, to answer questions, to vent, and to solicit advise from those who have gone before.

Wish me luck.

Reloy3 for County Attorney

Good luck!

Is a County Attorney like a District Attorney, except for a county and not a district? I live in an independent city, and we don’t have a county because of that.

I wish you the best of luck! A co-worker’s mother is running for political office and it can be very stressful, but very rewarding…or so I’m told.


Do you have a website?

What embarrassing or damaging personal information will I find by searching all your posts? :smiley: Good luck overcoming that!

Two differnet questions:

  1. How are local elections conducted in Wyoming?

  2. What do you do in the event that you either 1) Do not receive the appointment, or 2) Do receive the appointment, but lose in November?

Good luck, and may 2) be purely hypothetical.

My father ran for the board of education a few years ago, and what amazed me was how much work was involved in campaigning. They (as several candidates from the same party worked together) spent many hours canvassing door-to-door. And there were the party events and public appearances.

A lot of people make jokes about politicians, but after seeing how much work is involved for what was, in his case, an unpaid job, it’s a wonder anyone runs for office.

First of all, hire an aide that will tell you that it’s spelled “newbie.”

Kind of. If elected, I will have all the power of your local DA (i.e. prosecuting all crimes except small city ordinances) plus a few other powers not usually done by DAs. I also will be in charge of prosecuting juvenile crimes and involuntary commitments of mentally ill people in our county. (This is a huge part of the job as one of the communities here has the State Hospital for the mentally ill). THose jobs are not always done by DAs.

Also, I will also represent the county in all civil matters. This includes lawsuits and advising the county commissioners and other boards concerning the law.

It sounds like a big job, and it is, but the community has a much smaller population (@20,000) than the average DA would have to deal with.

Thanks for the good wishes.

No. I’m thinking about making one, but I need to get signs and printed materials out first. Also, because of the rural nature of the community here, most of the voters really don’t have internet access.

Probably not much, it’s not worth your time, honest, nothing to see.
Please, step away from the mouse!


(Actually there is enough about me on this website that, if anyone cared, they could easily find my real name. That’s about it.)

Local elections here are fairly typical - a primary next month and a general election in November. My situation is a little more complicated because my boss, the previous office holder is going to leave the position vacant for a little more than 3 months before the election and 5 months before the new elected official takes office in January. Because of that, a new Coounty Attorney will be appointed to fill the office for those five months. I’m hoping that person will be me, too. So really, I’m running two races at once - the general election and the bid to become the appointed County Attorney.

If I don’t get appointed, or I lose in November, most likely I will be unemployed and will open a private practice. My main opposition in the election tells me he wants to keep me around as his chief deputy if he wins, but I don’t know if I would do that. I’ve lost an appointment before (but not an election) and it turned into a nightmare quickly.

Amen, it’s very hard and stressful. At least my position is paid.

My bad - if a mod could change the title, I would be appreciative.

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. Any advice? How do you decide how to vote in local elections?

I have a friend who always votes against the incumbent, on principle.

Not sure how that would work in your case… :wink:

Good luck!

Hey, congratulations, Reloy3! I was an assistant county prosecutor for six years here in Cuyahoga County (greater Cleveland), Ohio, and enjoyed the work very much. I’ve never run for office, though. Good luck!

Have you made sure that opening this thread doesn’t fall foul of any campaign laws?

Good luck, man! I’ve always given thought to running for office, and like you, either on a municipal or county level. I’ll be watching your threads to learn how most of it works though. Please, keep us posted!

Hi, my name’s Trip, and I approve this message.

Such as? He hasn’t identified what county he is nor has he given his real name. Even if he had, how would this be different from a campaign website or a blog?

Wow, I used to work in Cuyahoga County at Squire Sanders & Dempsey. Thanks for the good wishes.