Araas, Harding anticipate collaborating often if elected to treasurer seat | County
SHERIDAN — Current Sheridan County Treasurer Carol Grandahl will not run for a second term in the position, and two Sheridan County Republicans filed to vie for the open seat in the upcoming primary election.
Katie Araas and Kevin Harding both filed as Republicans, meaning the primary election will likely decide who will serve the next four years as Sheridan County treasurer. Although Sheridan County experienced less economic downturn than other energy-reliant counties in Wyoming throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, commissioners and other county officials face decreased revenues and tax allocations from the state, in addition to struggling with decreased workforce.
Araas and Harding agreed the treasurer position, while not responsible for decisions regarding financial allocations, would work with each department to compile, organize and present budgets to the Sheridan County commissioners.
“I would really focus on helping the public understand what decisions were made at that point and why we were doing that,” Araas said. “Also, if you’re making do with less, you’re going to want to be diligent at looking at everything. It’s always hard to make do with less, but it’s like what you would do in your own household.”
“(The county is) already shorthanded,” Harding said. “I see it when I have to go stand in line for a long time. I don’t have an answer yet, not knowing the (full impact of the) labor shortage and the treasurer’s position yet.”
Araas received a degree from the University of Wyoming in finance and economics. She’s since worked in the oil and gas industry, served as deputy clerk in the Sheridan County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, accounts payable, executive secretary for the Sheridan County Commission, and currently works for Harker Mellinger.
Araas said if elected into the position, she wants to be diligent in looking at every aspect of the county budgets and focus on helping the public understand what and why decisions are made at the county level. Additionally, she believes the position serves the public and should maintain integrity and kindness throughout the role’s duties.
“I was raised to believe in contributing to the value of my community, and I believe serving in this position is something that I can do well with my background in finance and currently working at an accounting firm,” Araas said. “I believe when you elect people of high ethical and moral character, it promotes a healthy and strong community, and I think that’s a common good everybody can get on board with.”
Harding was born and raised in Sheridan and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming in business administration. Before moving back to Sheridan, he worked in Seattle in the accounting field.
He has worked in accounting, bookkeeping and information technology throughout his career and currently works as an IT coordinator for Morrison-Maierle, Inc.
Ashleigh Snoozy joined The Sheridan Press in October 2016 as a reporter before moving into the managing editor position in November 2018. She is a native of Colorado and graduated from Biola University in Los Angeles.