Primary Tuesday will narrow a few key races

By: 
Chase Vialpando, chase@glenrockind.com

Election day is just beyond the weekend — on Tuesday, Aug. 18 – when numerous key local, state and federal races will be either narrowed to fewer candidates for the general election in November or pretty well decided in this lopsided Republican county.

Topping the ballot locally, of course, is the U.S. Senate contest featuring Robert Short – a Converse County commissioner who was raised in Glenrock, is involved in several businesses in Glenrock and lives in Douglas. The Republican faces an uphill battle against long-time politician Cynthia Lummis, the former U.S. representative for Wyoming who most pundits have said has good name recognition across the state and a large war chest for her campaign.

Short and Lummis are considered the top two contenders but are not alone on the ballot; they are among 10 candidates. The other Republicans with a shot at the GOP nomination are Bryan Miller, Devon Cade, Donna Rice, John Holtz, Josh Wheeler, Michael Kemler, Mark Armstrong and Star Roselli.

Six Democrats are also seeking their party’s nomination for the Senate seat. They are James Kirk DeBrine, Kenneth Casner, Merav Ben David, Nathan Wendt, Rex Wilde and Yana Ludwig.

Voters can fill out ballots in person – albeit with restrictions about masks and social distancing – at the Glenrock and Douglas recreation centers, Eastern Wyoming College in Douglas, or Dry Creek in Bill from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. But many have already chosen to vote early either with mail-in/drop-off absentee ballots or by going to the Converse County Clerk’s Office. 

All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Aug. 18 to be counted, and you can’t vote at the courthouse on election day.

Voter registration applications and absentee ballot request forms are available in the clerk’s office and on the county website at www.conversecounty.org under Departments/Clerk/Election.

As of Tuesday morning, 6,120 county residents were registered to vote, although some people register at the polls on election day, so this number may increase. 

The clerk’s office has mailed out 1,164 absentee ballots since July 2 (the earliest they could), and have received 1,066 back, with 199 voters delivering their ballot in person and 867 via mail.

“We expect voter turnout to be good — at least more than half — as this was the trend at the last presidential election,” County Clerk Karen Rimmer said.

In each partisan (party-affiliated) race, one candidate from each party will pass into the general election in November for each open seat.

For the non-partisan Glenrock Town Council and Douglas City Council races, two candidates can move forward for each open seat.

The races for the two open Converse County Commission seats have attracted four Republican candidates: incumbents Mike Colling and Rick Grant of Glenrock, Douglas native Cruz VonWald, and Russ Dalgarn of Glenrock. Two of the four Republicans  will advance to the general election, where they will likely face at least one other contender.

Douglas resident Derek Joppru is running for the commissioner job as a Constitutionalist, which will allow him to proceed directly to the general election in November. He is not included in the primary election because he is running under a third party.

Two candidates are running for Converse County Clerk: recently appointed incumbent Karen Rimmer and Kacy Jo Hladky. Both are Douglas residents on the Republican ticket, and with no Democratic opponent yet (a write-in could appear), the winner next week will likely be elected in November.

The two Glenrock Town Council spots for the general election will likely be filled by incumbents John Moulton and Margaret Nunn, the only two to file for the primary, however additional candidates could appear if they receive enough write-in votes and opt to accept the nomination.

Two spots are available on the Douglas City Council, with both four-year terms. Incumbents Karl Hertz and Monty Gilbreath are seeking re-election against challenger Ron McNare. Hertz is in administration at Memorial Hospital of Converse County, while Gilbreath is the recreation district manager and food service manager for the Douglas School District. McNare is a business man involved in construction and property development.

State House District 6 Rep. Aaron Clausen, a Douglas area rancher, and challenger Camilla Hicks of Rolling Hills are campaigning for the House spot. Both are Republicans.

You can find more in-depth overview of the candidates in the Douglas Budget/Glenrock Independent Primary Voter’s Guide featured in last week’s papers. Copies also still are available at the newspaper offices.

If you would like more information, contact the County Clerk’s Office at 307-358-2244.

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Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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