Get to know candidates before the primary election


The end of the Park County Fair means that summer is quickly winding down. But just before kids head back to school, their parents need to do some homework for another significant event: the primary election.

Getting ready for the election starts with getting to know candidates in each of the races. While you can read up on them — and we encourage you to do so — this week offers opportunities to hear from many of the candidates
in person.

The first chance is tonight (Tuesday) beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Cody Holiday Inn. GOP candidates for numerous local offices will speak during a forum hosted by the Park County Republican Women. Every Republican running for a county office has been invited. GOP candidates seeking to represent Park County residents in the Wyoming Legislature also will speak at the evening forum.

This week’s second opportunity to meet candidates is closer to home for Powellites. On Thursday, a meet-and-greet community lunch takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Washington Park.

Hosted by Powell Economic Partnership, the lunch is open to everyone and provides a unique chance to talk with contenders face-to-face.

Thirty-two candidates have confirmed they’ll attend Thursday’s lunch, including all six of the GOP gubernatorial candidates as well as people running for the Powell City Council, Park County Commission, Wyoming Legislature and other state offices.

On Thursday night, the Republican gubernatorial contenders will head to Cody for a forum set to run from 6-8 p.m. at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Coe Auditorium. The Park County Republican Party is hosting the forum, which is the first and only one of its kind in northern Wyoming this election season.

The Aug. 21 primary election is an especially important one, as all five state offices (governor, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, treasurer and auditor) are on the ballot this year.

While successful candidates will advance to the general election in November, GOP voters will likely determine several local and state races in the primary, since Republicans are the only ones seeking certain offices.

Case in point: 10 Republicans are battling for three open positions on the Park County Commission. Although a Democratic or independent candidate could still step forward, none have so far, making it very likely that the three top Republicans in August’s primary will be our county commissioners for the next four years.

With three weeks until election day, there’s still plenty of time to get to know the candidates for local, state and congressional offices. Do your research — find out what they stand for, why they’re running, what changes they’ll try to make and how they will represent you. Take the time to talk directly with candidates at Thursday’s meet-and-greet lunch.

“In Wyoming and definitely in Powell, we appreciate an opportunity to meet people face-to-face and look them in the eye,” said Christine Bekes, executive director for PEP.

Before you cast your ballot, be sure to know who you’re voting for.