Wyoming’s top elections official has stepped down due to “philosophical differences” with Secretary of State Ed Murray. Peggy Nighswonger, who has been the state’s elections director since 1996 and worked in the Wyoming Department of Education before that, retired last month. In an interview Monday, she said her working relationship with Murray was one of the reasons she decided to end her career with the state. “I have worked for nine elected officials, and sometimes you just don’t have the same philosophy as they have,” she said. “I’m old enough to retire, and as much as I hate to leave, I just felt it was time.”
As the elections director in the Secretary of State’s Office, Nighswonger oversaw local, state and national elections as well as the state’s campaign finance system, ethics rules and lobbyist practices.
She declined to get into the specifics about her disagreements with Murray. But she said the office should be doing more to prepare for the 2016 elections instead of pursuing other initiatives, such as trying to improve the voter registration numbers.