by karla pomeroy
After 16 years, there will be a new commissioner for Big Horn County with longtime commissioner Keith Grant losing out to Felix Carrizales and John Hyde in his bid for a fifth term during Tuesday’s primary election.
Carrizales topped the ticket for the Republican nomination for two commissioner seats with 1,985 votes. John Hyde, who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the late Scotty Hinman, received 1,789 to advance.
Independent candidate Linda Harp of Basin and Otto resident Stanley Jones, Constitution Party candidate, will challenge Carrizales and Hyde in the general election.
Carrizales said, “I’m not sure how to feel right now. It’s pretty exciting but the general election is coming up. I’m grateful for all the people who voted for me and was surprised about the support. I will continue to work a little harder and keep going. I will stay true to what I said and hopefully I’ll be able to serve like I want to and serve the people.”
Carrizales won six of the 13 precincts in the county — winning Basin with 363 votes, hometown Burlington with 123, Emblem 33, Manderson 55, Greybull 504 and Shell 150. He and Hyde tied for the most votes in Otto with 39 each.
Hyde said, “Keith has been the best commissioner the county’s ever had. It’s extremely sad to see he was defeated; on the other hand I congratulate Felix. He ran a good campaign and there’s no animosity.
“I’m happy to have won my portion. I’ve enjoyed the process. It was a positive thing for me and absolutely I want to thank everyone who supported me.”
Hyde won five precincts — Hyattville with 30 votes, Lovell with 605, Cowley with 182, Byron with 110 and Deaver with 35.
Grant said, “It’s been a good ride. I made one political promise all the way through and that’s to make a difference and I believe I have. I will be leaving Big Horn County better than I found it. It’s kind of hard but all good things must come to an end.”
He added, “I appreciate the support the citizens of Big Horn County has given me over the years. It’s been an honor and a great learning experience.
“Of course, it’s a let down, but there’s time and season for everything.”
Grant said he wishes the new commissioners the best of luck.
“I just feel I’ve done my best and done a good job. I’m sure I’m leaving Big Horn County in a better position than I found it.”
Grant won one precinct with 28 votes in Frannie.
All results are unofficial until the canvassing board meets Friday at 8:30 a.m.