Wyoming Primary Election Tuesday

David Peck

Many have already voted by absentee ballot, but those who didn’t submit a ballot by mail will go to polling places Tuesday to participate in the 2020 Wyoming Primary Election, which will decide party nominations for two key seats in Congress, as well as state and local races.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

At stake are party nominations for one of Wyoming’s two seats in the United States Senate, as well as Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The battle for the U.S. Senate has attracted 16 candidates for a seat that will be wide open with the retirement of Sen. Mike Enzi at the end of the year. The clear frontrunner is former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Cheyenne, who also served in the Wyoming House and Senate and as the Wyoming State Treasurer. Lummis is one of 10 candidates for the Republican nomination.

Other GOP candidates are R. Mark Armstrong of Centennial, Devon Cade of Philadelphia, John Holtz of Laramie, Michael Kemler of Lander, Bryan Miller of Sheridan, Donna Rice of Casper, Star Roselli of Scottsdale, Ariz., Robert Short of Douglas and Josh Wheeler of Casper.

Running for the Democratic nomination are Merav Ben-David of Laramie, Kenneth Casner of Elk Mountain, James DeBrine of Evansville, Yana Ludwig of Laramie, Nathan Wendt of Jackson and Rex Wilde of Cheyenne.

In the House, Rep. Liz Cheney is seeking her third two-year term in Congress and is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Blake Stanley of Banner.

Vying for the Democratic nomination are Carl Beach of Saratoga, Lynnette Grey Bull of Fort Washakie and Carol Hafner of Box Elder, S.D.

On the state level, Wyoming’s top officials are halfway through their four-year terms, as is Sen. R.J. Kost (R-Powell), but Wyoming House of Representatives members run every two years, and Rep. Jamie Flitner (R-Shell) is unopposed as she seeks her third two-year term in office.

The race of greatest interest locally is the two-way battle for a single seat on the Big Horn County Board of Commissioners. Deb Craft of Basin is the incumbent, completing her first term, and she is being challenged for the GOP nomination by Bruce Jolley of Lovell, creating the first north-south, one-on-one commission race in many years in Big Horn County.

With no candidate for the Democratic nomination, the winner of Tuesday’s primary will win the seat in the November General Election, barring a surprise write-in nomination on the Democratic ticket.

Also on the ballot Tuesday are a number of town council positions, many of which are unopposed at this stage. Two nominees per seat advance to the Nov. 3 General Election.

Running for two seats on the Lovell Town Council are current council members Carol Miller and Tom Newman. Running to retain their two seats on the Cowley Town Council are Rob Johnson and Dexter Woodis, and likewise, incumbents Aspen Beall and Nick Loftus are unopposed for the council in Deaver.

There is room on the ballot for one additional candidate per seat through the write-in nomination process.

In Byron, neither incumbent on the town council, Allan Clark nor Jaime Petrich, filed for re-election, but there is a three-way race for the two council seats in the form of Linda NeVille, Debbie Ramirez and Karma Sanders. One more could join the ballot in November via a write-in nomination.

Likewise, neither incumbent on the council in Frannie filed for re-election. Millie Armstrong and Terry Moore did not file for office, but two others have thrown their hat in the ring. Steven Richardson filed for one of
the two four-year seats on the council, and Keara Poole filed for a two-year seat on the council, currently vacant following the resignation of Shane Roberts.

Again, write-ins could add to the ballot for the November General Election.

Polling places in North Big Horn County are the community center in Lovell, the log gym in Cowley, the town complex in Byron, then community hall/town hall in Deaver and the town hall in Frannie.

There will be no election party at the Bank of Lovell next week, as has been held for many years, due to COVID-19 restrictions.