Voters head to polls Tuesday

by nathan oster

After months of going campaigning, of meeting with and talking to voters, the big day is almost here. Election day in Wyoming is Tuesday, Nov. 4, the culminating act of the democracy in which we live.

Polling places across the state will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters will be asked to fill federal, state, county and municipal government seats as well as decide the fate of a number of tax-related ballot questions that apply only to residents living in south Big Horn County.

 

Muncipal races

For voters in Greybull, the office of mayor and two seats on the council are on this year’s ballot.

Bob Graham, who now holds the mayor’s seat, is seeking a full four-year term. Myles Foley, currently a member of the council, is challenging him. Win or lose, Foley will remain on the council, as two years remain on the term he was elected to serve in 2012.

Four candidates — none of them incumbents — are vying for two open seats on the council. They contenders for those seats include Les Lowe, Richard “Pappy” Capen, Rod Collingwood and Scott Mattis.

 

Special seats

While most special districts are filling board seats in this election, the only one with more candidates than openings is in the race for Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees.

Incumbents Jamie Flitner and Eddie Johnson are among the candidates seeking the four, four-year terms on that governing body. They are joined on the ballot by Cheri Edeler (now on board as an appointee to complete Jean Petty’s term), Dave Haller, Mike Wirtzberger and John. T. Fuller.

For South Big Horn County Hospital District there are three candidates seeking three positions, as Sue Antley and Jeff Grant are bidding for the four-year terms and Todd Denny is seeking the two-year term.

For South Big Horn Senior Citizens Service District board, there are five candidates for five seats, in Tom Goton, Walter Rivers, Joe Sylvester and Judy Jordan, all of Greybull, and Kristi Bonnel-Phillips of Basin.

Laura Huber, Deb Rathbun and Carl Meyer are running unopposed for South Big Horn Rural Health Care District.

George Kelso of Emblem, Ted Zier of Basin and Howard Wildman of Manderson are seeking the three seats on the South Big Horn County Conservation District.

Michael McMillan and M. Scott McColloch are seeking seats on the South Central Special Cemetery District, which oversees the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull.

 

Tax issues

South Big Horn County voters will be asked whether they support continuation of the mill levies now in place for the South Big Horn Conservation District, the South Big Horn County Hospital District and the South Big Horn Senior Citizens Service District.

The Greybull Lodging Tax is requesting an increase in its lodging tax from 2 percent to 3 percent. If approved, it would generation an additional $9,000 — above and beyond the $18,000 generated by the first two pennies — for the promotion and marketing of the Greybull area.

 

County races

Most of the county races were decided by the results of the August primary election.

But voters still have some choices to make in this election.

Ken Blackburn, the incumbent sheriff, is being challenged by Independent Bill Brenner, currently Greybull’s chief of police.

Four candidates are vying for two seats on the Big Horn County Commission: Republicans Felix Carrizales and John Hyde, Independent Linda Harp and Stanley Jones of the Constitution Party.

Turning to legislative seats, House District 26 Rep. Elaine Harvey, a Republican, is being challenged by Joyce Collins of the Constitution party. Sen. Ray Peterson, who represents Senate District 19, is unopposed.

 

Federal and state

Sen. Mike Enzi, the Republican incumbent, is being challenged by Joseph Porambo, Curt Gottshall and Charlie Hardy.

Another Republican incumbent, Cynthia Lummis, is being challenged by Richard Brubaker, Daniel Clyde Cummings and Richard Grayson for U.S. House.

The governor’s race is a four-way contest, featuring Republican Matt Mills, Democrat Pete Gosar, Libertarian Dee Cozzens and Independent Don Wills.

For state superintendent of public instruction, Republican Jullian Balow faces Democrat Mike Ceballos.

State Auditor Cynthia Cloud and State Treasurer Mark Gordon are running unopposed.

 

Unopposed races

Several candidates for Big Horn County offices are unopposed heading into Tuesday’s general election. Unopposed in the general election after winning the Republican nominations of their respective offices are Treasurer Becky Lindsey, Coroner Del Atwood, Clerk Lori Smallwood, Assessor Gina Anderson, all whom were unopposed in the primary; Clerk of Court-elect Serena Lipp of Greybull, who won a four-way race in August; and County Attorney-elect Kim Adams of Shell, who defeated current County Attorney Michelle Burns in the primary.

Lindsey is seeking her sixth term in office.

Atwood, of Basin, is seeking his ninth term.

Anderson is seeking her third term as county assessor.

Smallwood, a Basin resident, is completing a term left vacant by the resignation of Dori Noyes, following Noyes’ appointment as clerk of district court.