CASPER, Wyo. — Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, is running for Wyoming secretary of state, the state’s No. 2 elected office.

Zwonitzer, 34, has served in the Wyoming Legislature for 10 years, including serving on the Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee for eight years. That committee oversees the Wyoming secretary of state’s office, and Zwonitzer believes he understands the office and its tasks.

Current Secretary of State Max Maxfield has said he wants to focus on his wife and declined to seek a third term.

The secretary of state serves as acting governor when the chief executive is out of the state. The office is also responsible for elections in Wyoming and ensuring that companies that do business here register appropriate documents with the state.

A 2011 Reuters investigation found Cheyenne had become a haven for shell companies, or entities on paper only, without employees that can be used to hide assets. Zwonitzer said the problem has been largely corrected by requiring companies to list names of shareholders and their physical addresses.

“We had four or five major bad actors about four years ago,” Zwonitzer said. “Now we have one.”

Zwonitzer is finishing dual master’s degrees in political science and business administration from the University of Wyoming. Previously, he worked on environmental policy for former Gov. Dave Freudenthal, managed special projects and wrote grants for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and ran his family’s auction company and furniture company before it was sold.

He is a co-chairman of the committee that is planning the $250 million renovation of the Wyoming Capitol.

Zwonitzer expects to formally launch his campaign in the next week or two. He is working on a website, www.votezwonitzer.com.

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