GOP ranks finalists for county attorney vacancy

BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE

The Big Horn County Republican Committee interviewed three candidates to complete the remaining months on the four-year term of current county attorney Kim Adams, who resignation takes effect June 1.

Candidates who were interviewed included:

  • Marcia Bean, currently the deputy county attorney in Hot Springs County;
  • Michelle Burns, currently in private practice in Greybull and a former two-term Big Horn County attorney; and
  • Kim Mickelson, who has worked in the Big Horn County Attorney’s office twice and is currently the deputy county attorney, serving under Adams.

Each candidate was asked the same 17 questions and had two minutes to respond. They were also given three minutes to open and close their interview.

After the interviews concluded, ballots were distributed and voters were told to place the candidates in order of preference. A No. 1 vote meant that was their first choice, a No. 2 was their second choice and a No. 3 was their third choice. They were also told that the 1s, 2s and 3s would be added, the person with the lowest total would be considered the first choice, and that the candidates would be presented to the commissioners in the order of committee preference, based on the votes.

After the vote was completed, Big Horn County Republican Party Chair Janice Wantulok and committee member Elaine Harvey said the vote for the No. 1 position was clear. It was Burns, they said.

However, because some members only voted for one candidate, the second and third positions were unclear. Wantulok said the committee would have to vote again to determine the order for those two positions.

There was some discussion about how the directions may not have been clear to everyone. A motion was made to conduct a new vote. This motion was withdrawn after more discussion and a show of hands about who understood the voting process.

When the second vote was taken to determine the second and third choices, Bean placed second and Mickelson placed third.

All three candidates will interview with the commissions Monday, April 23, starting at 9 a.m. The interviews are open to the public.