Green River Star -

By David Martin

Republicans win big in Wyoming


The Republican Party continues to be a dominating force in Sweetwater County politics as Republican candidates won every election they were involved in Tuesday night.

In the race for two Sweetwater County Commissioner seats, incumbents Wally Johnson and Don Van Matre ended the night in commanding leads over their opponents. According to unofficial results, Johnson finished ahead of the pack with 7,905 votes, while Van Matre finished with 7,205. The two ended election night with 55.24 percent of the vote. Democrat Gary Bailiff finished third with 4,950 votes, Independent candidate Scott Hamel took fourth with 4,140 and Democrat Holly Dabb finished last with 3,149 votes.

Hamel, who joined the race after the Primary Election as an independent, said he has learned a lot during the last two months. The most important thing he learned during the race is the importance of being involved.

“I learned so much more just getting involved ... that people don’t have a clue about,” he said.

One issue he believes needs more attention is the debate regarding public lands, saying it’s something he plans to stay on top of. Hamel also said he may decide to seek election in 2018

In state legislative races, Green River’s representatives were running unopposed. Both John Freeman and Stan Blake won re-election to their seats at the Wyoming House for House Districts 60 and 39 respectively. Democrat Liisa Anselmi-Dalton, who ran unopposed for Senate District 12, also won the election for her seat. She will replace Bernadine Craft in the Senate District. Republican incumbent Mark Baker defeated his opponent, Democrat Jackie Freeze, for a third term representing House District 48. Baker won with 1,958 votes, or 58.43 percent of the total votes, while Freeze received 1,393.

In Senate District 14, Republican Fred Baldwin won election against his opponent, Democrat Charlotte Sedey. In Sweetwater County, Baldwin received 1,561 votes to Sedey’s 329.

Throughout the district he had 6,940 votes while Sedey ended the election with 1,237. Thomas Crank, a Republican contender for House District 18, defeated Green River Democrat Michele Irwin. Crank received 1,428 votes and 3,596 throughout the House District, while Irwin received 449 in Sweetwater County and 880 district-wide.

For House District 47, Republican Jerry Paxton defeated Democrat Ken Casner 3,309 votes to 612. In Sweetwater County, Paxton received 646 votes to Casner’s 58.


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