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August 25, 2008 12:58 pm

Write-in bids for County Commission, state house

Written by Tribune Staff

Candidates unsure if they'll continue efforts
Don't start counting any electoral chickens just yet.
Write-in results from Park County's primary election reveal that some races that appeared a foregone conclusion may not be over.
Two individuals ran write-in campaigns for the primary election, and they're considering continuing their efforts to the general election.
Republican Pat Slater, the former director of the Powell Recreation District, launched a last-minute campaign for House District 25. Powell Tribune publisher Dave Bonner was the only candidate on the ballot.
Bill Yetter of Meeteetse also made a write-in bid for a seat on the Park County commission.
Slater decided just days before the election to make a bid for the Powell area's seat in the state house.
“A one-person race isn't a choice, it's a lack of options,” he said.
He began handing out campaign cards on Aug. 15 — about 3 and a half days before primary ballots were cast.
Slater said his bid was not borne out of specific concerns with Bonner.
“Not at all. I just want to give people a choice,” he said. “I don't have an agenda.”
Slater said he could bring a “fresh set of eyes” and a “clean slate” to the Legislature if elected.
He decided to start his write-in campaign from the encouragement of friends and said things have gone well so far.
“It's been real positive,” he said.
Unofficial results from the Park County clerk's office recorded 63 votes for Slater — roughly 4 percent of the vote.
Bonner picked up 1,242 votes, or about 92 percent of those cast. Unopposed incumbent legislators on county ballots — Elaine Harvey, Colin Simpson, Hank Coe, and Pat Childers — received around 97 percent of the vote.
When told of Slater's candidacy, Bonner said he welcomed a new entry in the race.
“I'd say that's great. That's the process,” he said. “More candidates probably focus more attention on the issues... Who wins in a scenario like that? The voters.”
Yetter, who works in construction, unofficially picked up 30 ballots — less than a half a percentage point.
He said he ran because he was concerned with personal vendettas and “sometimes a whole lot of ado about nothing,” in government.
“We need to simply administer the public's business and keep on keeping on,” he said. “I see a distinctive trend with the government ... to put off painful decisions.”
Yetter described himself as a conservative.
“Partisanship at the county level is reduced to rolling up your shirt sleeves and doing the public's business,” he said.
Like other commission candidates, Yetter said the county government needs to improve on its communication with the public.
Both Yetter and Slater said they would wait for official results before deciding whether to make a general-election push.
Slater noted that with voter turnout less than 50 percent in the primary, results could easily change come November.
“There's a substantial number of voters out there that have yet to be heard,” he said.