Jones Announces County Commissioner Election Bid

Jones Announces County Commissioner Election Bid

Taylor Jones took the Oath of Office given by Judge Richard Lavery immediately following his appointment to the Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners. File Photo.

SWEETWATER COUNTY – The newest member of the Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners announced his intention to seek election for a full four-year term.

Commissioner Taylor Jones told SweetwaterNOW he will file for election to remain a county commissioner. Two positions on the board of county commissioners are up for election this year, with the terms of Jones and Commissioner Mary Thoman expiring at the end of the year. Jones has served as a county commissioner since August, replacing Lauren Schoenfeld after she vacated her position to work for Gov. Mark Gordon’s office. Prior to being a commissioner, Jones served eight years on the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Board of Trustees.

During the interviews he had with the Sweetwater GOP and the commissioners prior to being appointed, he said when asked if he intended to run for office, he said he would. He said he has eyed a possible election bid to the county commissioners in the past, saying he considered it in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic happened and he decided to remain as a hospital board member to help navigate it through that period. When the opportunity to be appointed arrived, Jones decided to seek nomination after consulting with his wife. He believes the hospital is being managed well by its administration and the board of trustees, which gave him the opportunity to seek the appointment.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

“I think it’s headed in the right direction,” he said.

During the next four years, Jones said the county will face fallout from the Bureau of Land Management’s Rock Springs Resource Management Plan (RMP). He said the RMP is in the hands of the BLM now, but views other issues involving wild horses, sage grouse and travel management as things that will need to be dealt with in the future. He also views housing for thousands of workers and their families coming to the area a major concern as well. Sweetwater County and the southwestern corner of Wyoming are likely going to experience an economic boom coming from trona expansions, construction related to the Natrium reactor proposed in Kemmerer and other projects in the next five to 10 years. Jones thinks an answer to the housing situation will involve both the Rock Springs and Sweetwater County governments. With more residents, Jones also thinks a focus on adding more commercial areas will bolster retail opportunities in the county.

Jones said he enjoys working with the other commissioners, saying the group has worked on issues like the RMP as a team.

Taylor Jones

“None of us are there for our egos,” he said.

Jones called his short time with the commissioners a very educational one, with a lot of hard work involved on issues like the RMP. Jones was placed on Gordon’s select committee related to the RMP, focusing on issues related to off-highway vehicles on public lands. Driving along the trails in a side-by-side and snowmobiling are two of Jones’ favorite pastimes. He looks forward to the possibility of helping the county navigate other issues should he be re-elected.

“I’ve worked very, very hard and I’m glad to do it,” Jones said.

Jones is married to Sen. Stacy Jones, R-Rock Springs, and the couple have two children, Logan and Lorin. Jones has lived in Sweetwater County since 1992 and managed UPS until 2008, when he decided to go into the oil and gas industry.