State Rep. and House Speaker Keith McCall, who announced Tuesday he will retire from his posts when his 14th term ends in December, has some thoughts on some people he believes might be considered as candidates to succeed him to represent the 122nd District.
"There are a lot of talented individuals in this county Bill Richards, Bob Crampsie, William O'Gurek, Ron Sheehan. They would all make terrific candidates if they desire. I think there's a good crop of individuals who could step up to the plate," he said.
The Carbon County Democratic Committee expects to meet soon to discuss the matter, chairman Frank Jacobs has said. The county Republican Committee expects to meet Wednesday.
Within days of McCall's announcement, numbers of potential candidates on both sides began to send out feelers. In the weeks ahead, the parties will sift and sort as they decide which is the most viable candidate to back.
Those mentioned by McCall who responded to requests for comment either said or suggested they would not seek the representative's seat.
O'Gurek is chairman of the Carbon County commissioners.
"I am humbled that Keith and others might believe that I would or should be a suitable candidate for state representative, but I will not be seeking the position. Like Keith, a stable family life is important to me, too. My mindset in that regard is very much the same as his.
"As part of my commissioners' agenda, I have promised the people of Carbon County that I will work hard for them in this position, and that is my only focus. I work with and alongside a lot of good people and want to continue to do that. I think the county is fortunate to have so many dedicated row office holders, department heads and employees who understand that it is our job to help make this county function the best way possible."
Ron Sheehan is county treasurer.
"I've been lucky enough to be recently elected to my third term as treasurer, and I am content" in this office, he said. "Whoever does run has some pretty big shoes to fill. That's not meant to frighten anyone away, but incumbency and tenure play a big role (in state office). Someone going into that position won't immediately have the doors open to them that Keith has now. This came as such a surprise, I don't think there's anyone out there who was really considering running for state representative. No one has laid any ground work. No one saw this coming."
Bob Crampsie is county controller.
"I think I'm still surprised by the announcement I'm sure most people in Carbon County are. I haven't given it any thought I thought Keith would be in that position for years to come."
Crampsie said there will be another representative, but "nobody can replace him. I'm hoping in the next few days we'll hear from Democrats who are interested, and that there is someone I will feel very comfortable supporting. It's going to be an interesting political year here in Carbon County."
Efforts to reach Bill Richards, who is McCall's director of Field Support, were unsuccessful.