Breckenridge Texan

Jared McLane hired as new election administrator for Stephens County

Jared McLane hired as new election administrator for Stephens County
June 12
07:30 2024

On Tuesday, June 11, Stephens County appointed Jared McLane as its new election administrator, a position recently created by the Commissioners Court to oversee election processes in the county.

McLane, who has been a teacher and coach at Breckenridge Junior High and High School, as well as a musician, was chosen from a pool of five candidates by a hiring committee and will officially start his role on Monday, June 17.

Stephens County Judge Michael Roach confirmed McLane’s appointment, highlighting his background in computer skills and information technology as key factors in his selection.

“One of the things we looked at with him was that there’s so much computer-generated reports, data … he had a strong background in that,” Roach said. “He does IT (information technology) work, tears computers down and builds them back up, operates software, apps, mobile apps, all that kind of stuff.”

Roach said he believes that will be crucial for managing the county’s increasingly digital election processes.

McLane is expected to begin transitioning into his new role on Wednesday, June 12, with official duties starting next week.

The Stephens County Commissioners voted to create the new-to-the-county elections administrator position in April. Up until now, the county’s Tax Assessor/Collector has been responsible for managing the elections in Stephens County. The new position will administer all elections under the county’s jurisdiction, relieving the Tax Assessor of that burden.

Although the elections administrator will be responsible for running elections and for all of the legal reporting responsibilities with the Secretary of State’s office, the tax office employees will still be expected to help out during the elections, Tax Assessor Christie Latham said in April. Latham did not run for re-election in the March Republican Primary Election. Crystal Shook ran unopposed for the Tax Assessor position in the Republican Primary, and there were no Democratic Party candidates. Shook will be the only candidate for Tax Assessor on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The committee that hired McLane included Roach, Latham, County Clerk Jackie Ensey, Democratic Party Chair Tommy Thompson and Scott Harris, who is in the process of being appointed as the Republican Party Chair. Chuck Cook, the previous Republican Party Chair, recently resigned due to health reason, Roach said.

Additionally, the Stephens County Commissioners, who are responsible for the funding and oversight of the election administrator position, provided input about the candidates and participated in the interview process.

Roach said that the other applicants had good qualities; however, McLane received the majority support from the hiring committee due to his extensive IT skills and local roots.

McLane will work closely with current election and courthouse staff, including Latham and Ensey, to ensure a smooth transition.

Roach said McLane will undergo training and attend election schools to be fully equipped for his responsibilities.

 

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