Clerk faces challenge for 1st time since ’98
Incumbent Daigle and Burson will both advance to general election.
By Cara Rank, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
July 23, 2010
Sherry Daigle refers to herself as the mother of the county.
As Teton County clerk, she’s the chief election officer and the chief budget officer. She oversees land records, vehicle titles and payroll. She makes sure bills are paid and marriage licenses are issued. Plus, she takes stock of the county’s inventory and is the clerk to county commissioners.
“A lot of the clerks, we refer to ourselves as the county mothers,” Daigle said. “When there’s a problem, they call the clerk. When they want something filed, whenever there’s a job that doesn’t want to be done by anybody, they call the clerk. That’s why our responsibilities are so large.”
This is the first year that Daigle, 48, will face a challenger since she was elected in 1998. Democrat Kyle Burson filed to run for the job. Daigle is a Republican.
Both will advance through the Aug. 17 primary, as they are the only candidates in their parties.
“The real race is going to happen in November,” Daigle said.
Burson, 50, said he is still developing his campaign platform but one of his top issues is consolidating the office to find cost savings.
“I want to make things run leaner,” he said.
It’s also time for new faces, Burson said.
“Basically, it’s time for a change,” he said. “I think the ruling party has been in office too long and it’s time to get somebody new in there.”
The 23-year valley resident said he is a hard worker despite a physical handicap. He said he has a slight form of cerebral palsy.
He’s currently a board member for Teton Adaptive Sports and has worked for the Jackson Hole Jaycees.
Daigle has been in Teton County for 42 years. She’s looking forward to a challenged race, she said.
“When I initially ran back in 1998, one of the things I ran on was the fact I would not ask anybody in my organization to do a job that I couldn’t do myself,” she said.
Before she was elected, Daigle worked in the clerk’s office for five years, learning the various duties. Her favorite was working with land records.
“It’s like a puzzle to me,” she said. “I love delving into those old books. It’s history, where we came from.”
In her tenure as clerk, she’s worked to implement the geographic information system and implemented various changes to streamline the office. For example, her office recently began handing out vehicle titles rather than mailing them, saving taxpayers time and money, Daigle said.
Today she oversees a staff of 11.
“I love the diversity of the job,” Daigle said. “It’s a new day every day. You never know what to expect. You have to be really flexible.”