Today’s the day: GOP and Democratic voters across Wyoming will decide which candidates will advance to the general election in November.
Around Park County, polling places open this morning (Tuesday) at 7 a.m., and folks can cast their ballots until 7 p.m. Powell area residents will vote at the Park County Fairgrounds (655 E. Fifth Street), with Garland-Frannie area residents voting at the Garland Community Church (900 Sheridan Avenue) and Ralston area residents voting at the Mountain View Clubhouse (1001 Road 18).
GOP voters have relatively full ballots, as most local candidates are running as Republicans.
In the most highly contested local race, 10 Republicans are vying for three seats on the Park County Commission. That includes incumbent Joe Tilden and Bob Berry, Zach Bowman, Richard George, Anton “Tony” Lehman, Cathy Marine, Dossie Overfield, Bob Stevens, Pat Stuart and Lloyd Thiel. Since no Democrat or independent candidates have sought a spot on the commission, it’s likely the top three vote-getters in today’s election will be the next county commissioners.
All other elected county officials are running unopposed.
In the only contested GOP legislative race in the Powell area, voters will decide between longtime State Sen. Ray Peterson of Cowley and challenger R.J. Kost of Powell in the Senate District 19 race.
Meanwhile, voters in the Cody area will choose between three candidates for House District 24: Richard Jones, Sandy Newsome and Denise Shirley. The winner will face Democrat Paul Fees in the general election.
The nonpartisan City of Powell races are essentially a dry run in the primary election, as all candidates will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Mayor John Wetzel is facing challenger Ryan Miller. The winner of the general election will finish the remaining two years of the late Don Hillman’s term, serving through 2020.
In Ward I, two newcomers are seeking a spot on the Powell City Council: Steven Lensegrav and Ernest Phipps.
Incumbent councilman Scott Mangold is seeking to continue representing Ward II, while challenger Michael Newton is running for his first term on the council.
In Ward III, incumbent councilman Tim Sapp is running for his fourth term and is being challenged by Tawnya Peterson.
Around Wyoming, all eyes are on the gubernatorial race as six GOP contenders — Bill Dahlin, Foster Friess, Sam Galeotos, Mark Gordon, Harriet Hageman and Taylor Haynes — battle for the chance to replace Gov. Matt Mead.
The winner will face off against the top Democrat from today’s election. Four gubernatorial candidates — Mary Throne, Rex Wilde, Kenneth Casner and Michael Allen Green — are seeking the Democratic nomination.
In the state auditor race, GOP contenders Kristi Racines and Nathan Winters are seeking to replace Cynthia Cloud of Cody.
Meanwhile, Republicans Leland Christensen, Curt Meier and Ron Redo and Democrat Jim Byrd are all vying to replace Gordon as state treasurer.
For the U.S. Senate, incumbent John Barrasso is facing five Republican challengers: Dave Dodson, Rocky De La Fuente, Charlie Hardy, John Holtz and Anthony Van Risseghem. Democrat Gary Trauner is running unopposed.
In the U.S. House race, two GOP challengers, Rod Miller and Blake Stanley, are running against incumbent Liz Cheney. Democrat contenders Travis Helm and Greg Hunter are seeking their party’s nomination for Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Powell Tribune will provide live updates at www.powelltribune.com as the election results come in to the Park County Courthouse, starting around 7:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).