SHERIDAN — Each year, television talking heads and the general public discuss how much sooner election season seems to come.
This year, too, those either seeking elected office for the first time or seeking to hold onto their current seats are getting a jump on filing season to announce their candidacies.
Rep. Mark Kinner, R-Sheridan, is one such candidate. He announced his bid for re-election Friday.
“This means so much to me, I just had to flat get it out there,” Kinner said in an interview with The Sheridan Press on Friday. “It might just be new guy enthusiasm, but it meant that much to me.”
Kinner added that this will be his first time in a political campaign — he was appointed to his current seat following the death of Rep. John Patton last spring.
But Kinner isn’t the only candidate to jump into the race before the filing period, which doesn’t begin until May 12.
At least 10 individuals have announced their intentions to seek the U.S. House seat currently occupied by Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who said she would resign after her current term.
Brenda Kekich, election supervisor in Sheridan County, said that while the number of positions on the ballot this fall seems high, it is average for a presidential year.
Kekich did say she has seen more interest earlier in the year from Sheridan County residents, who are already registering to vote and requesting absentee ballots.
She noted that the spike in interest could lead to higher voter turnouts than the county has seen in the past.
For now, though, Kekich said she and her staff are readying for the busy election season.
Offices that are up for election in 2016, according to Kekich’s office, are:
• U.S. representative in Congress (currently held by Rep. Cynthia Lummis)
• State senator — District 22 (currently held by Sen. Dave Kinskey)
• State representative — District 29 (currently held by Rep. Mark Kinner)
• State representative — District 30 (currently held by Rep. Mark Jennings)
• State representative — District 40 (currently held by Rep. Mike Madden)
• State representative — District 51 (currently held by Rep. Rosie Berger)
• 2 county commissioner seats (currently held by Mike Nickel and Tom Ringley)
• Sheridan mayor (currently held by John Heath)
• 3 Sheridan City Council seats (currently held by Kristin Kelly, Shelleen Smith and Thayer Shafer)
• 2 Dayton Town Council seats (currently held by Joey Sheeley and Laurie Walters-Clark)
• 3 Ranchester Town Council seats (currently held by Randy Sundquist, Jesse Hinkhouse and Jeffrey Barron)
• 3 Sheridan County School District 1 Board of Trustees seats (currently held by Carla Dunham, Gary Reynolds and Karen Walters)
• 6 Sheridan County School District 2 Board of Trustees seats (currently held by Richard Bridger, Wayne Schatz, Molly Steel, Hollis Hackman and two open seats)
• 3 Sheridan County School District 3 Board of Trustees seats (currently held by Catherine Fennema, Barry Bauer and Amy Vineyard)
• 4 Northern Wyoming Community College Board of Trustees seats (currently held by R. Scott Ludwig, Bruce Hoffman, Kress ‘Kati’ Sherwood and Walter Wragge)
• 2 Sheridan County Conservation District board seats (currently held by Emerson W. Scott III and John Kane)
In addition, the city’s 4 percent lodging tax will be on the ballot.