CACHE COUNTY – The clock is ticking for Cache County Republicans, who need to replace retired County Clerk/Auditor Jill Zollinger in a timely fashion in preparation for the November general election.
Local GOP Chairman Chris Booth says the party hopes to nominate Zollinger’s successor and forward that name to the Cache County Council for approval by Sept. 22.
After 31 years in the County Clerk’s office, Zollinger abruptly retired Aug. 31, midway through a term of office ending in 2022. That puts the ball in the county GOP’s court to nominate a replacement to serve out Zollinger’s unexpired term.
Booth said that the party organization began accepting filing affidavits from perspective candidates Sept. 1st and that the official filing period will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.
A special election will then be held to allow the party’s local leaders and precinct officials to select a replacement candidate. That event will be held at 10 a.m. at Ridgeline High School on Saturday, Sept 19.
Booth said that the special election will be an in-person event, rather than the type of virtual political gatherings that have been held since the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March. Members of the public are invited to attend, but the usual COVID-19 precautions are strongly recommended.
The name of the party’s nominee to serve as interim clerk/auditor until 2022 will hopefully be forwarded to the Cache County Council prior to their regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 22, Booth added.
Under state law, the county council then has five days to approve the party’s candidate. After that, it becomes the responsibility of the governor to name an interim official to ensure smooth processing of ballots in the general election.
The roles of county clerk and auditor are combined in Cache County.
The clerk’s department conducts countrywide and general elections; issues marriages licenses; issues business licenses for unincorporated areas; and, prepares and retains all county council agendas, minutes, contracts, resolution and ordinance records.
The auditor’s department provides core property tax administrative services for Cache County.
Under state law, a candidate for a county elected position must be a registered voter and a local resident for one year.
In the case of the upcoming GOP special election for the county clerk/auditor position, all would-be candidates must be registered Republicans.