Secretary of State-elect Wes Allen announced Wednesday the individuals that will serve in appointed positions in his office when he is sworn in as Alabama’s next Secretary of State on January 16, 2023.
Clay Helms will serve as Chief of Staff. Helms has served in the Office of the Secretary of State under the last three Secretaries and has served as an Assistant Director of Elections, Director of Elections and Deputy Chief of Staff. He is a graduate of Auburn University and a native of Troy, Alabama.
“I am excited to appoint Clay Helms to serve as my Chief of Staff,” Allen said. “He has the experience, dedication and temperament that I was looking for to help me lead the office and to ensure that we create a culture of hard work, dedication and respect for the taxpayers who interact with the Office of the Secretary of State.”
Mike Jones will serve as General Counsel. Jones served in both the Alabama House and Senate where he was active on the Judiciary and Rules Committees. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and has been a practicing attorney for more than two decades.
“Mike is an excellent attorney and he knows the laws of this state as well as anyone,” Allen said. “His knowledge of the law and of the inner operations of government will make him an invaluable asset to me, the staff and to the people of Alabama.”
Jonathan Hester will serve as Director of Government Relations. Hester mostly recently served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Governor Kay Ivey but worked closely with the Legislature in his previous role as a Policy Advisor. He is a graduate of Auburn University.
“Jonathan understands the legislative process well and his relationships with the legislators in both chambers make him a great fit for this position,” Allen explained. “He is a hard worker who understands the goals of this office and the importance of the legislative process in our day to day operations.”
Jeff Elrod will serve as Director of Elections. Elrod has worked both in the Elections office and on the field side of elections and has been involved with elections administration on several levels. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama.
“Jeff brings a wealth of experience to the Elections Division but he also brings a respect for the people who do the job of administering our elections in each of Alabama’s 67 counties,” Allen said. “Building positive relationships with members of Boards of Registrars, Probate Judges, Circuit Clerks and Sheriffs is essential to a successful Elections Division and he is invested in ensuring that he builds cooperative relationships with elections officials and personnel across the state.”
Laney Kelley will serve as Director of Scheduling and Executive Administrative Assistant. Kelley will join the Office of the Secretary of State after serving as a consultant and scheduler for Allen’s Secretary of State Campaign.
“I am confident that Laney will be an asset to the Office of the Secretary of State. She understands the intricacies of the scheduling process and balancing a multitude of requests simultaneously,” Allen said. “Her intelligence and experience will be very beneficial to the Office of the Secretary of State.”
The appointments will take effect after Allen is inaugurated on January 16, 2023.