Filing period opens today

Posted 5/13/10

Nearly all of Park County's elected officials, three Powell council seats, all state representatives and the state senate seat for the Powell area are all up for voters' consideration this year.

Anyone seeking to run as a Republican or a Democrat …

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Filing period opens today


If you're planning to seeking a federal, state, county or municipal office this election season, now's the time to make yourself known.The filing period for candidates seeking to be on the Aug. 17 primary election ballot opens today (Thursday) and continues through May 28.

Nearly all of Park County's elected officials, three Powell council seats, all state representatives and the state senate seat for the Powell area are all up for voters' consideration this year.

Anyone seeking to run as a Republican or a Democrat must file between now and May 28. The primary election determines which candidates make the general election ballot. Each major party is allowed to advance as many candidates to the general ballot as seats are available. So, for example, with three county commission seats up for grabs, only three Republican candidates and three Democratic candidates can make the general election ballot in November. With non-partisan city council seats, only two candidates per seat can make the general ballot from the primary.

During the next couple weeks, the Park County Elections website,, will be updated with candidate lists each night.

All three Park County commissioners whose seats are up for election — Jill Shockley Siggins, Tim French and Bill Brewer, all Republicans — have said they will run to keep their positions for another four years. So far, three Republican challengers have publicly said they are also running for commission seats — retired Cody accountant Loren Grosskopf, Cody outfitter Joe Tilden and Hank Whitelock, a Cody construction operator.

Park County Clerk Kelly Jensen said Tuesday that she will also be seeking re-election. When she decided to first run in 2006, the primary election had already passed, forcing her to run as an Independent. This time around, Jensen will run as she is registered, as a Democrat.

Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric, Clerk of District Court Joyce Boyer, Coroner Tim Power and Sheriff Scott Steward are also among those seeking another four years in office.

Park County Treasurer Nena Graham-Burke will not seek re-election. After three four-year terms as treasurer, she said “it's time” to retire.

“It's been great; I've loved every minute of it,” said Graham-Burke, but she said it was time to let someone else run the office.

Park County Assessor Doug Brandt is also not seeking re-election.

On the Powell City Council, Ward 3 Councilman Rex Sanders and Ward 2 Councilman John Wetzel both said they plan to seek re-election on their four-year terms.

A currently-vacant Ward 1 seat is also up for grabs. The seat was made vacant in late April, when Councilman Josh Shorb resigned after moving out of the ward.

With the application deadline less than an hour away on Wednesday afternoon, the city had received three letters of interest, said Powell Mayor Scott Mangold — from Ward 1 residents Shea Reel, Steve Scott and Joe Hatmaker. Mangold and Councilman Jim Hilberry will interview the three Friday afternoon, and assuming the council accepts their recommendation, their choice will be sworn in at Monday night's city council meeting. The appointed council member will serve through the end of the year, with he — or whoever wins in the general election — starting a four-year term in January.

In House District 25, the seat which represents the Powell area, Tribune publisher and state Representative Dave Bonner, R-Powell, is seeking another two-year term in the house. Bonner is being opposed by local TEA Party organizer and small business owner David Kellet, also a Republican.

In House District 26, which covers northern Big Horn County and the Willwood area south of Powell, Rep. Elaine Harvey, R-Lovell, has said she's seeking re-election.

State Sen. Ray Peterson, R-Cowley, who represents the Powell area and northern Big Horn County, has also said he'll seek re-election.

Rep. Pat Childers, R-Cody, said he plans to seek re-election in House District 50, which covers the area west of Powell, including Ralston, the Heart Mountain area and Clark.

In House District 24, which covers Cody, Meeteetse and most of the west and southern parts of Park County, Rep. Colin Simpson, R-Cody, is not seeking re-election, as he is currently seeking the governorship.

Three candidates — Cody attorney Stephen Simonton, Deputy Park County Attorney Sam Krone and optometrist Jason Whitman — have announced they are running for Simpson's seat.

Getting on the general election ballot as something other than a Democrat or Republican will require filing a petition in August with the signatures of at least 292 local voters.