Voters nationwide will go to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots for candidates in the 2014 General Election, and among the intriguing races are several right here in Big Horn County.
In Lovell longtime mayor Bruce Morrison is receiving a serious challenge from former councilman Angel Montanez. Montanez outpolled Morrison 241-199 in the Aug. 19 Primary Election, and both candidates have stepped up their campaigning in the weeks since then.
In Byron, Mayor Pam Hopkinson is also receiving a strong challenge from challenger Heidi Brightly. Brightly edged Hopkinson 91-81 in the primary.
Deaver Mayor Fred Yates is not seeking reelection, and two current councilmen are vying to succeed Yates. In the primary, Michael Beyer edged Gary Fulbright 25-15.
Frannie mayor Vance Peregoy and Cowley mayor Joel Peterson are unopposed in Tuesday’s election.
There are also key council races in North Big Horn County. In Lovell, incumbent councilmen Bruce Wolsey and Kevin Jones are being challenged by former councilwoman Jodi Lindsay and frequent candidate Stephen Fowler, who accepted write-in votes cast during the August primary.
In Byron, incumbents Alan Bair and Walter Roman are unopposed, but there is a battle for a two-year seat on the council between Gary Petrich and Gary Gruell, who accepted his write-in votes following the primary.
There is a rich four-person race for two town council seats in Cowley. Battling are incumbent Diane Badget, Scott Crosby, Daniel Robertson and Nick Sponsel.
Incumbent Steve Gillett and Bill Camp are unopposed for the Deaver Town Council, and in Frannie, three are vying for two council seats: incumbent Nadine Kreutzer, Mary T. Myers and former mayor Shane Roberts.
Several school board races have developed. Vying for three seats on the Lovell School Board are incumbents Marianne Grant and Bruce Jolley, as well as challengers Danny Jolley and Mel McArthur.
In District One, Tricia Aagard is unopposed to retain her Burlington seat on the school board, but there is a three-way race for a two-year Byron seat on the board vacated by Jim Thomas involving Alan Bair, Michelle Hoyt and Ed Riding.
David Banks and incumbent David Monk are seeking the designated Cowley seat on the board, and seeking two at-large seats on the board are incumbents Paul Rasmussen and Koleen Sponsel, along with challenger Jack Cordner, the former mayor of Frannie.
Four incumbent members of the North Big Horn Hospital Board of Trustees are unopposed Tuesday: at large members Bruce Wacker and Linda NeVille, Deaver-Frannie trustee Bill Camp and Byron-Cowley trustee Brett Crosby.
On the county level, there are two races of interest. Incumbent Sheriff Ken Blackburn of Cowley was unopposed for the Republican nomination in August but is receiving a challenge from independent candidate Bill Brenner, the current chief of police in Greybull.
There are four candidates for two seats on the county commission, Republican nominees John Hyde of Lovell, a current commissioner, and Felix Carrizales of Burlington, independent candidate Linda Harp of Basin and Constitution Party candidate Stanley Jones of Otto.
Unopposed as Republican nominees are County Coroner Del Atwood, County Attorney nominee Kim Adams, who defeated current attorney Michelle Burns in the primary, County Clerk Lori Smallwood, County Treasurer Becky Lindsey, County Assessor Gina Anderson and Clerk of District Court Serena Lipp.
State and legislature
State Senator Ray Peterson of Cowley is unopposed for his Senate District 19 seat, but State Rep. Elaine Harvey of Lovell has a challenger for her House District 26 seat from Constitution Party candidate Joyce Collins of Lovell.
There are five candidates for Governor of Wyoming: incumbent Matt Mead, the sitting governor, Democratic nominee Pete Gosar, Libertarian candidate Dee Cozzens of Lovell, independent candidate Don Wills and announced write-in candidate Taylor Haynes, who lost to Mead in the Republican primary.
Running to succeed Max Maxfield as Secretary of State are Republican nominee Ed Murray, Constitution Party candidate Jennifer Young and Libertarian Kit Carson. Running to succeed Cindy Hill as Supt. of Public Instruction are Democratic candidate Mike Ceballos and GOP nominee Jillian Balow.
Running unopposed are State Treasurer Mark Gordon and State Auditor Cynthia Cloud.
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi is receiving a three-way challenge from Democratic nominee Charlie Hardy, Libertarian Joe Porambo and independent Curt Gottshall. Rep. Cynthia Lummis is being challenged by Constitution Party candidate Daniel Clyde Cummings, Libertarian Richard Brubaker and Democratic nominee Richard Grayson, who lives in Arizona.
There are three tax issues on the ballot in North Big Horn County. Residents of the Town of Lovell will decide whether to renew the 2 percent lodging tax, and residents living in the North Big Horn Hospital District will decide whether to renew the additional 3 mill levy for four more years. Also on the ballot is renewal of the 1 mill levy to fund the North Big Horn County Senior Citizens Service District.
Running for re-election to the senior citizens service district board are Barbara Walker, Ron McClure, Dueane Calvin, Verna Hawkins and Loretta Tippetts.
Voters in Wyoming will decide one constitutional amendment that, if enacted, would allow the governor to appoint nonresidents as members of the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees.
Three judges and two Wyoming Supreme Court justices are also up for retention.
By David Peck