It was a busy primary election night in Park County.
When the dust settled on Tuesday's primary election, local Republicans picked incumbent Joe Tilden and newcomers Dossie Overfield of Cody and Lloyd Thiel of Clark to fill three open seats on the Park County Commission. They also helped R.J. Kost of Powell defeat veteran state Sen. Ray Peterson of Cowley.
Peterson carried Big Horn County, but he didn't get enough support there to overcome a flood of support for Kost in Park County; Kost was favored by Powell area voters by a more than 2:1 margin. With no opponents in sight, Kost stands to proceed be sworn into the Legislature next year.
Over in House District 24, Republican Sandy Newsome of Cody comfortably beat her two opponents, Denise Shirley and Richard Jones of Wapiti. Newsome will face Democrat Paul Fees in November general election.
In the commission race, Tilden and Overfield led the rest of the 10-member pack all night long, but the third seat appeared to be too close call. That changed when Powell's results -- which were late in arriving to the courthouse due to a snafu -- were finally tabulated. Powell area Republicans made Thiel their No. 1 pick, vaulting him nearly 500 votes ahead of fourth-place finisher Richard George. Trailing George were Pat Stuart and Zach Bowman.
It was a good night for the incumbents in the City of Powell government: Mayor John Wetzel and councilmen Scott Mangold and Tim Sapp outpolled their challengers, Ryan Miller, Michael Newton and Tawnya Peterson, respectively. Meanwhile, Steven Lensegrav emerged well ahead of Ernest Phipps in the race to replace Councilman Eric Paul. However, the primary was just a dry run for the city candidates: They'll all face off again in November.
Park County Republicans made Foster Friess their pick for governor over Mark Gordon, but Gordon wound up winning the race across the state.
Full results are available on the county website and the Tribune will have much more detailed coverage and reactions in Thursday's newspaper. Thanks to everyone who followed along tonight.