- Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Max Maxfield struggles when he tries to think of what he won’t miss about being secretary of state.

“I don’t think there is anything,” he said. “I come in here, and every day is different.

“I love what I’ve done. I love the ability to help people. I love being able to travel the state and help local communities with their needs. I’m just going to miss it an awful lot.”

Dozens of state officials and members of the public filled the State Capitol’s west wing Friday for Maxfield’s retirement ceremony.

After decades of working in state government, including eight years as secretary of state and eight years as state auditor, Maxfield will be leaving public office when his term expires in January.

He surprised many earlier this year when he announced he would not seek a third term in office.

Maxfield said Friday that was one of the harder decisions he has had to make. And although it will be difficult for him to leave, he said he is ready for retirement.

“I’ve had a good, long run in state government,” he told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle (https://bit.ly/130PkX5). “I’m going to miss it, and I wish I wasn’t leaving. But I know I made the right decision when I decided not to run so that I could spend more time with my family.”

Maxfield was first elected to a statewide position in 1998. After serving two terms as auditor, he ran and was elected secretary of state in 2006 and 2010.

He also headed the Wyoming Recreation Commission from 1987-1989 and the Wyoming Department of Commerce from 1989-1994.

Maxfield said when he first took the recreation commission job, he never expected to make a career out of state politics.

But he said he was drawn to the positions he served in, especially secretary of state, which he calls his “dream job.”

Maxfield said he is proud of what he has accomplished in the office, including working with the Legislature to streamline election processes and to crack down on fraudulent shell companies.

But he said one of the highlights was working with local communities as a member of the State Loan and Investment Board. That body approves grants and loans to cities, towns and counties.

“I put on about 50,000 miles a year traveling to every community in the state,” he said. “Working with the local communities has been a true pleasure.”

Gov. Matt Mead said he saw the difference Maxfield had on the state any time he would travel with him.

“When you go to any county or any town, one of the favorites is always Secretary Max Maxfield,” Mead said.

“That’s because he went all over the state.

“He and (his wife) Gayla engaged people all over this state. It’s not just the work they did, but the care and manner in which they did it.”

Mead added that Maxfield was a mentor and friend during his time in office.

“The advice and counsel he gave me was always spot on,” he said.

Deputy Secretary of State Pat Arp also has worked alongside Maxfield for years.

She said the thing she will miss the most about him is the compassion that he brought to the job.

“Max really has been known with staff, Wyoming communities and the nonprofit groups he’s worked with as just a compassion individual,” she said.

Maxfield said he plans to stay active in the community by working with Wyoming Alzheimer’s Association and the Cheyenne Animal Shelter as well as by volunteering to see if Mead wants to appoint him to a board or commission.

Mead, who read a proclamation naming Dec. 12 as Max Maxfield Day, said he would be glad to put Maxfield back to work.

“We are going to miss him greatly,” Mead said. “But I’ve already told Max that I’ve found him a very non-paying job, and we look forward to his continuing service.”


Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, https://www.wyomingnews.com

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