PINEDALE – Citizens of Sublette County
formed two political action committees
(PACs) to raise public awareness about the
candidates and issues in the contest for the
Rural Health Care District board of trustees.
The PACs, Citizens for Change and Hospital
for 23, raised money before the general elections
on Nov. 6 and filed their financial statements
with the Sublette County Clerk’s Office.
Candidates for two open positions on the
Sublette County Board of Commissioners also
reported raising funds for the election.
The Citizens for Change PAC raised
$1,534.81 before Election Day, according to
their financial statement. The PAC listed Joan
Mitchell and Betty Fear as the officers. The
committee’s main purpose was to “inform
Sublette County about the new candidates running
for the Rural Health Care District board,”
Approximately half of the money raised for
Citizens for Change came from anonymous
donations amounting to $791. The remainder
– $743.81 – came in the form of named individual
The named donors included: Office Outlet
in Big Piney, Jim and Laurie Latta of Pinedale,
Nancy Espenscheid of Big Piney, Sandra Milleg
of Big Piney, Rod Bennett of Big Piney,
Mitchell of Big Piney, Marian Smith of Big
Piney, Karen Taylor of Big Piney, Earl Preston
of Big Piney and Dick Tanner of Big Piney.
The PAC spent $748.80 on signs from
Belveal Signs and Towing in Pinedale, $67.81
on tie-downs for signs from Ridley’s, $254 on
advertising with Pinedale Online and $454 on
advertising with KPIN Radio. The remainder
was spent in small amounts for copies and
The Citizens for Change PAC was terminated
on Nov. 16.
The Hospital for 23 PAC raised $295 before
Election Day. Travis and Crystal Thompson
are listed as the officers for the PAC.
Travis Thompson stated that Hospital for
23 was established to provide public information
on the “real circumstances” around the
proposed critical access hospital and to correct
“wrong information” about the proposal
posted on social media. He said the PAC was
driven by issues and was “not anchored to any
specific candidates.” The PAC stressed the
need for a hospital to be built under the management
of Sublette County before a “large
company” from outside the county takes control
of local health care.
Funds for Hospital for 23 came from
three named donors: Kristine Bacheller,
Lorraine Gatzke and David Kappenman.
The latter two are employees with the Rural
Health Care District.
According to Thompson, the money was
spent to create an educational website and
billboards. The Hospital for 23 PAC is still
operating, and Thompson said he has plans
to keep it running in the future.
The composition of the Rural Health Care
District board of trustees changed significantly
on Election Day. Bill Johnson won the
race against incumbent John Godfrey for a
two-year seat on the board. Tonia Hoffman,
Mike Pompy and Marti Seipp replaced incumbents
Scott Scherbel and Laura Clark. A
third seat was vacated with the retirement of
board member Chuck Bacheller.
Scherbel, Clark, Godfrey and Bacheller
voted in favor of motions to apply for a
$25,461,000 loan with the USDA to build
a proposed critical access hospital at the
BloomField site and to pursue mediation
when the loan was turned down.
The race for two open seats on the Sublette
County Board of Commissioners was the
Continued from 1A
only other local poll where candidates raised
Doug Vickrey, running for the board as a
Republican, reported raising $439. All of the
money came from his own personal contributions
and was used for radio advertising,
according to paperwork he filed.
Courtney Skinner, Democratic candidate
for the board of commissioners, reported
raising $170 in personal contributions before
the election and $2,050 in funds in advance
of Oct. 30. Out of the $2,050, $1,200 came
from Skinner’s personal contributions while
individual donors raised $850 for the campaign.
The following individuals were named
as donors to Skinner’s campaign: Mari Bochanis
of Henderson, Nev., Martha Ptasnik of
Pinedale, John and Peggy Bryant of Cora and
Erik and Kezia Windham of Parker, Colo.
Incumbent commissioner and Republican
Joel Bousman reported zero funds raised for
Vickrey and Bousman won election to the
two open commissioners’ seats with 2,263
votes and 2,120 votes respectively. Skinner
received 1,185 votes. n