Primary Election: Local races spice up Tuesday’s election

Voters in Wyoming will go to the polls Tuesday to nominate party candidates and non-partisan finalists in the 2012 Primary Election. Those who prevail will be on the General Election ballot in November.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and North Big Horn County citizens will vote at the following places: Lovell, community center; Byron, town complex; Cowley, School District No. 1 administrative offices; Deaver, community hall; Frannie, town hall/school building.

Locally, the race drawing the most interest is the battle for the Republican nomination for the District 26 seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Incumbent Rep. Elaine Harvey of Lovell is being challenged by Big Horn County Tea Party candidate Rob DiLorenzo of Emblem. DiLorenzo has declared himself as the more conservative candidate during campaigning, while Harvey has also touted her conservative credentials while standing on her record of success promoting Big Horn County issues and business development.

There is no filed Democratic candidate, so the winner Tuesday will likely win the November 6 General Election, as well.

The other county contest of interest is the battle between incumbent Jerry Ewen of Shell and Linda Harp of Basin for the GOP nomination for the Big Horn County Commission. As with the House seat, there is no filed Democratic candidate, so Tuesday’s winner will likely win the seat on the commission.

Statewide races feature strong incumbents against what are viewed as relatively weak challengers. Sen. John Barrasso is being challenged for the Republican nomination by unknowns Emmett Mavy of Alpine and Thomas Bleming of Lusk. Vying for the Democratic nomination are William Bryk of New York, Tim Chesnut of Laramie and perennial candidate Al Hamburg of Torrington.

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis has no Primary competition but will be challenged by Democrat Chris Henrichsen of Casper in the General Election.

No mayors are up for election in North Big Horn County, and all town council candidates will advance to the General, with two candidates per seat advancing.

In Lovell, only incumbents Scott Allred and Brian Dickson filed for office, but there are three candidates for two seats in Byron (though all three will advance): Sydney Hessenthaler, Pamela Hopkinson and Todd Wilder.

Cowley town council candidates are Rob Johnson and Dexter Woodis for a pair of four-year seats and Dennis Woodward for a two-year seat. In Deaver, only Michael Beyer filed for office.

In Frannie, Vance Peregoy is seeking a four-year seat on the council, while Brenda Kawano and Nadine Kreutzer are each seeking one of two two-year seats on the council.

Candidates who survive Tuesday’s Primary will be joined in November by statewide candidates nominated by other parties such as the Libertarian and Constitution parties, as well as local candidates for school board, hospital board and other special district boards.

The Bank of Lovell will host a Primary Election Party Tuesday night beginning at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

By David Peck