SUBLETTE COUNTY – Most of Sublette County’s Nov. 6 election results were predictable after GOP incumbents and new candidates ran basically unchallenged after earlier primaries.
Still, a total of 3,448 of 4,816 registered voters – or 71.59 percent – cast their votes across the county’s eight precincts.
One of Tuesday night’s cliffhangers was waiting to learn whether voters returned longtime incumbents or brought in new faces to the Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board. The race, which does not have a primary, clearly divided candidates into two camps over the issue of the proposed critical access hospital. New candidates said they spoke for the public wanting a smaller-scale CAH project, a less expensive facility and at a different location
Four new candidates jumped into the health-care arena with the departure of board member Chuck Bachellor and three other board members whose terms are ending. The term continues for board member Wendy Boman, who voted often against the CAH project as supported by the rest of the board.
Incumbents chair Scott Scherbel and vice-chair Laura Clark with four-year terms and John Godfrey with a two-year term made it clear during their campaigns that voter support was a reflection of public support for the CAH as proposed for the BloomField subdivision in the board’s unsuccessful loan application for a low-interest USDA loan.
Contender Bill Johnson of Pinedale gained Godfrey’s two-year seat with 1,736 votes to 1,052, according to the Sublette County Clerk’s Office.
Tonia Hoffman of Big Piney garnered the most votes at 1,673 of any of those seeking the four-year seats. She is joined by Marti Seipp of Bondurant who gained 1,221 votes and Mike Pompy of Big Piney with 1,204 votes. They were followed by challenger Sam Bixler with 1,100 votes, Scherbel with 1,041 and Clark with 983 votes.
Scherbel and Clark, both elected to the Rural Health Care District’s board in 2010, and Godfrey appointed in 2016, were strong advocates for an all-new critical access hospital.
“I wish the new board the best,” Scherbel said Wednesday morning.
Clark said, “I simply hope the residents of Sublette County and the staff of the (RHCD) achieve the best care and support possible in the years to come.”
She appeared to fault past Roundup and Examiner coverage: “I also hope the press can find a way to give the people of Sublette county and surrounding areas the truth with accuracy and without bias. It would be a welcomed accomplishment.”
“I'm pleased and look forward to working collaboratively with the other county and town entities,” Boman said, the only existing board member to remain. “I don’t think it will be difficult at all to work with the new board trustees, they’re anxious to get started. There will be an orientation at some point in the near future.”
New members Hoffman, Seipp, Pompy and Johnson will be sworn within 10 days of the Nov. 8 canvassing to join Boman at the regular Nov. 19 board meeting.
Rep. Roscoe returns
Another set of chairs were switched Tuesday with Independent challenger Jim Roscoe of Wilson and Pinedale taking the Wyoming House District No. 22 seat from longtime Rep. Marti Halverson of Star Valley.
While Halverson took just 25 more votes in Sublette County than Roscoe (204-179), Halverson gathered a win in Lincoln County (1,269-935) and Roscoe swept Teton County (1,381-510). The combined votes gave Roscoe the winning edge, 2,495-1,985, and his return to the House after serving two terms in the past.
GOP Rep. Albert Sommers of Pinedale was reelected to House District No. 20 without a challenger; he and Roscoe both said they look forward to working together across the aisle.
Republican candidates Doug Vickrey of Daniel and incumbent Joel Bousman of Boulder also won the two seats on the Sublette County Board of Commissioners Tuesday after winning the GOP primary against a host of challengers.
Democratic candidate Courtney Skinner ran again during the general election, gathering 1,185 votes to Vickrey’s 2,263 and Bousman’s 2,120 votes.
County elected officials who were unchallenged and maintain their seats are county coroner Curt Covill, sheriff KC Lehr, assessor Jeness Saxton and district court clerk Janet Montgomery. Also returning are Sublette County Conservation District board members Coke Landers and Milford Lockwood.
Unchallenged primary winners also swept through the Nov. 6 elections, including county clerk Carrie Long, county attorney Mike Crosson and treasurer Emily Paravicini.
Sublette County School District No. 1’s board Pinedale East vacancy received 154 write-in votes that will not be counted until Thursday’s official canvass. Trustees-at-large Chris Nelson and Jamison Ziegler were both reelected, as was Pinedale West incumbent Charles Prior.
In a fairly close three-way race, Prior received 645 votes to Maureen Dempsey’s 530 and Lori Joyner’s 524.
At SCSD No. 9, board trustee-at-large Cody Raza won unchallenged. Two other terms will be filled by Alan Vickrey with 725 Sublette-Lincoln County votes and incumbent John Fear with 716 total; challenger Gregory Clark received 338.
State of the State
GOP candidate Mark Throne is slated to be Wyoming’s next governor with Sublette County giving him 2,664 votes; Democratic challenger Mary Throne got 602 votes, followed by Constitutional Party’s Rex Rammell with 81 and Libertarian Lawrence Struempf with 42.
All other state races went to Republicans – with Edward Buchanan as the next secretary of state, Kristi Racines as the next state auditor, Curt Meier as state treasurer and Jillian Balow as superintendent of public instruction.
Wyoming and Sublette County also chose incumbents U.S. Sen. John Barrasso over Democratic Gary Trauner and Libertarian Joseph Porambo, and Rep. Liz Cheney over Democratic Greg Hunter, Constitution Party’s Daniel Clyde Cummings and Libertarian Richard Brubaker.
To see unofficial county and precincts’ results, visit www.sublettewyo.com. The Sublette County Canvass Board meets Thursday to go over write-in ballots (including the Pinedale East race) at 3 p.m. at the Sublette County Commissioners Meeting Room, 21 S. Tyler, Pinedale.
GOP holds onto top offices in Wyoming
WYOMING (WNE) – Wyoming’s Republicans maintained their hold on the state’s top elected offices Tuesday as voters cast their ballots for the GOP candidates for the spots by a margin of more than two-to-one.
State Treasurer Mark Gordon, Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, Kristi Racines and state Sen. Curt Meier all handily won their races for governor, secretary of state, state auditor and state treasurer, respectively, according to unofficial vote totals from the secretary of state’s office. Incumbents U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney also had no problems defeating their Democratic opponents.
Gordon, who won a six-way primary race in August to face former state Rep. Mary Throne in the general election, won 136,339 votes in Tuesday’s election to Throne’s 55,984. Rex “T-Rex” Rammell, a candidate for the Constitution Party, won 6,739 votes and Libertarian Lawrence Gerard Struempf won 3,114.
In the race for secretary of state, Buchanan, who was appointed to the office earlier this year, won with 136,939 votes to the 53,384 collected by state Rep. Jim Byrd, D-Cheyenne. Libertarian Kit Carson III earned 8,604 votes.
Republican Racines collected 143,887 votes while her Democratic opponent Jeff Dockter earned 52,488.
Sen. Curt Meier, R-LaGrange, won his bid for state treasurer with 141,732 votes to the 54,894 collected by Democrat Chris Lowry. n