Candidates and PACS file financial statements for general election

Sublette County Canvassing Board.

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,”

Mitchell said.

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

donations.

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

postage.

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

ELECTION

Continued from 1A

only other local poll where candidates raised

election funds.

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

his campaign.

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


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