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Laursen takes HD 25 spot in primary election

Dan Laursen unseated Dave Blevins for the Republican nomination for House District 25 Tuesday night.

Laursen received 1,062 votes, or 54.5 percent, while Blevins received 869 votes, or 44.6 percent. The .9 percent represents write-in votes. Under- and over-votes are not counted.

Since there is no Democrat, third-party or independent candidate so far, Laursen is virtually guaranteed a seat in the state House of Representatives.

The district encompasses the city of Powell and rural areas around it. Laursen’s support was several points higher in rural Powell than within the city limits. However, in addition to winning the three rural precincts, he won four of the five precincts in town.

“That’s pretty cool,” Laursen said, referring to his win.

Laursen said he believed Blevins’ voting record may have been a factor in his defeat, particularly Senate File 104.

Blevins supported the 2013 bill that stripped State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill of most of her authority. It was struck down by the Wyoming Supreme Court earlier this year.

“Obviously they’re not happy with my voting,” Blevins said. “It’s not life-altering.”

Blevins may have been a little more liberal than his constituents in HD 25 liked, Laursen said, using House Bill 87 as an example.

Blevins voted in favor of a HB 87, a failed bill that would have defined Wyoming marriage as a civil contract between “two natural persons” rather than the existing law defining marriage as a male-female union. 

“I think I’m more of a conservative voter,” Laursen said.

Blevins, 65, enjoyed some success in Cheyenne. For example he hopes he got the bill ball rolling to initiate a smart phone app for tourists that would gather revenue for the state, he said.

The bill passed the House and was made an interim study topic by the joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee.

Laursen, 54, wanted to thank everyone who voted in his favor and said he appreciates their confidence, he said.

He is enthusiastic, but knows this winter’s legislative session will be a lot of work.

“I’m so excited,” Laursen said. “It will definitely be a learning curve.”

Blevins wished Laursen the best of luck in Cheyenne.

“My life did not revolve around this,” he said. “I have other things to do.”

For instance, he is still chairman of the Powell Council for Community Services, a group he’s been involved with for 30 years that helps people down on their luck and sponsors the Christmas Basket program.

He also serves on the Powell Airport Advisory Commission. Getting the airport terminal built last year was a triumph. The airport has plenty of potential and is “business-ready,” Blevins said.

He also plans to travel and visit family, he said.

Laursen said he believes he can represent the people’s interests. If he votes against what he believes are his constituents’ wishes he will explain why in public forums such as local radio talk shows. “Listening to people is going to be the most important,” he said.

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