General Election Tuesday: Local races bolster hot-button presidential race and tax issue

While much of the attention in Tuesday’s General Election is focused on the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, there are a number of local state and local races of note as Wyomingites go to the polls.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the following locations in north Big Horn County: the Community Center in Lovell, the Town Complex in Byron, the School District Administration Building (Academy Building) in Cowley, the Community Center/Town Hall in Deaver and the former school building/Town Hall in Frannie.

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Of course, much of the talk nationally has been about the presidential race featuring President Obama, the incumbent and Democratic nominee, and Republican nominee Romney, with their vice presidential running mates Joe Biden (Obama) and Paul Ryan (Romney), but there are also two other sets of nominees on the ballot in Wyoming: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and running mate James P. Gray, and Constitution Party nominee Virgil H. Goode and running mate James Clymer.

On the state level, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is running for re-election as the Republican nominee and is being challenged by Democratic nominee Tim Chesut of Laramie and Country Party nominee Joel Otto of Lander.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis is also seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives and is facing four challengers on Tuesday: Democratic nominee Chris Henrichsen of Casper, Libertarian nominee Richard Brubaker of Riverton, Constitution Party nominee Daniel Cummings of Casper and Country Party nominee Don Wills of Pine Bluffs.

Closer to home, Rep. Elaine Harvey of Lovell is unopposed in her bid for a sixth two-year term in the Wyoming House of Representatives representing District 26 after staving off a challenge from Rob DiLorenzo in the Republican Primary.

Commissioner Jerry Ewen of Shell will also be alone on the ballot Tuesday as the Republican nominee for the Big Horn County Commission, but he is facing a write-in challenge from Linda Harp of Basin, who finished a close second to Ewen in the August Primary.

Town council races

There are four “races” and one unopposed slate for town council seats in north Big Horn County. In Lovell, incumbents Scott Allred and Brian Dickson are being challenged by write-in nominees Jack Brinkerhoff and Stephen Fowler. Three candidates in Byron carried forward from the Primary Election: Sydney Hessenthaler, Pam Hopkinson and Todd Wilder.

In Deaver, Steve Gillett is unopposed for a two-year seat on the town council, but there are three candidates for two four-year seats: incumbent Michael Beyer and write-in nominees Paul North and Rod Wambeke.

Frannie has two races: incumbent Vance Peregoy and write-in challengers John Miller and Terry Moore for a pair of four-year seats on the council and incumbents Brenda Kawano and Nadine Kreutzer and write-in challenger Delbert Johnson for a two two-year seats.

All three candidates in Cowley are unopposed: Rob Johnson and Dexter Woodis Jr. for two four-year seats on the council and Dennis Woodward for a two-year seat on the council.

All north Big Horn County school board candidates are unopposed: incumbents Dan Anderson, Tracy Beal and Rebecca Moncur and newcomer Hans Hawley in Lovell (District Two) and in District One Brett Crosby for an at-large seat, James Thomas for the designated Byron seat on the board and Joan Zier for the designated Deaver-Frannie seat.

There are four candidates for three seats on the North Big Horn Hospital Board. Chad Lindsay and Don Minchow are unopposed for re-election to their at-large seats on the board, while Dee Cozzens and Mary Matthews are vying for the designated Lovell seat on the board.

Also up for election, and all unopposed, are seats on local cemetery boards, the Shoshone Conservation District Board, the North Big Horn County Senior Citizens Service District Board and the Big Horn County Fire Protection Districts One and Five boards.

Voters will also consider whether to retain Circuit Court Magistrate Randy Royal.

Tax issues

There are two tax issues on the ballot in north Big Horn County. Voters throughout Big Horn County will decide whether to add a sixth-cent specific use sales tax to the tax roles to fund a number of special projects, and voters in the north will vote whether to retain the North Big Horn Senior Citizen Service District Tax Levy of 1 mill, which helps fund the services of the North Big Horn Senior Citizens Center.

Also on the ballot are three proposed amendments to the Wyoming Constitution.

Look inside this week’s Chronicle for detailed surveys of candidates on the ballot in north Big Horn County, as well as the pros and cons of the three proposed constitutional amendments.

By David Peck