Nethercott to run for Wyoming secretary of state

CHEYENNE — State Sen. Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne, has become the third state lawmaker to announce their candidacy to be Wyoming’s next secretary of state. 

A fifth-generation Wyoming native, Nethercott is a graduate of Riverton High School and the University of Wyoming. She made the announcement Tuesday in Riverton, according to a campaign news release that day. 

She currently lives in Cheyenne, where she has been a small business owner and is a practicing attorney. 

Elected to the Wyoming Senate in 2016, she chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and, for the last six years, has been on the Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee that oversees state elections laws, her campaign noted. 

She also is a member of two select committees, one dealing with the blockchain and another on capital financing and investments, according to her official online legislative profile hosted by the Legislature. (The blockchain refers to the public ledger underlying digital currencies.) 

Nethercott also sponsored some bills in the past session of the Legislature. Senate File 53, “Local government liability pool amendments,” deals with limits on some claims brought against localities and their employees. The bill has become law. 

Nethercott declared her candidacy following current Secretary of State Ed Buchanan’s recent announcement that he will not seek re-election so that he can be considered for a district court judgeship in his hometown of Torrington. 

The first to announce his candidacy for secretary of state was current Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, followed by Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper. 

Buchanan’s change of plans, which came after he had announced he was running for re-election to his current position, took some political figures by surprise. Buchanan, in his current role, has noted that elections in the state were relatively free of any chicanery.

In her Tuesday campaign announcement, Nethercott also gave a nod to elections security. 

“We should be proud of our elections. Wyoming serves as an example to the nation for election integrity, but it is more important than ever to protect Wyoming’s elections,” she said. “I will be steadfast and vigilant to ensure safe and secure elections to defend our shared western values.” 

Nethercott earned the Wyoming County Commissioners Association Legislator of the Year Award in 2021 and the Wyoming Federation of Firefighters Legislator of the Year Award in 2020. She also is a graduate of the Council of State Governments Western Leadership Academy, Leadership Wyoming and Leadership Cheyenne and an alumnus of the National Security Forum Air War College. 

The role of the secretary of state is broad and includes overseeing the Business Division, Compliance Division and Elections Division. 

According to the campaign release, Nethercott’s “combined experiences of economic development, legal acumen and commitment to Wyoming’s values will ensure that Wyoming remains open and ready for business for a stronger and thriving economy.” Wyoming’s primary election will be held Aug. 16. The nationwide general election is Nov. 8.