The race is on: Candidates file in at deadline’s closing, showing all local positions having opponents

By Ethan Brogan and Colin Tiernan

The candidates have solidified their running plans.
Former councilwoman and mayor Linda Care-Smith has filed to run for mayor against current councilman Bruce Roumell.
Care-Smith served as a councilwoman for nine years and filled in as mayor when mayor Michael McQueary passed away two days after resigning from office.
“I wanted to get back in and I thought this would be my chance,” Care-Smith said. “I feel like when I was on the council and when I was mayor, I did good work and I helped people with problems.”
Care-Smith wants to look at improvements to the Deer Creek and public works departments as well as keeping an accurate filing of all town proceedings.
“I want to make a library for the town. . . we have to keep records and so many manuals and things,” she said.
Care-Smith also wants to look at spending.
“I think we need some fiscal management. I think there has been an awful lot of money spent.”

Several candidates submitted their filings at the final hour on June 1.
Resident Tiffany Larramendy felt this was the time for her to step in.
“I want to be the voice for the town of Glenrock,” she said. “I want to base (votes on council) on what the citizens want.”
Larramendy wants to utilize social media to get more input from townspeople.
“I just watch the council meetings and it kind of irritated me in a way. . . council members put on the council were voted in by the citizens of Glenrock, yet it didn’t seem like they really listened to what the citizens had to say or what their thoughts were on things,”Larramendy said, remarking she didn’t feel that way about all members of council.
Larramendy also thinks having a woman’s input would be ideal for a council position.
“I think that getting a female perspective in there would really help,” she said.
Local residents Roy Kincaid and AnnaBelle “Boots” Faunce have also filed for council.
Incumbent councilmen Russ Dalgarn and Dennis Flynn have filed to run for re-election. If councilman Roumell wins the mayoral vote, a third seat will open up on council.

For the county, incumbent commissioners Tony Lehner, Robert Short and Jim Willox hope to retain their seats, while Darek Joppru of Douglas, running for the commission for a third time, is attempting to nab a spot at  the table. All are Republicans.
“If we want folks to partake in the republic, why then we better do it ourselves, too,” Joppru said. “(I’m running) to show that folks that are in the middle of their working career and have a full-time job can also serve in local elected positions.”
Joppru said he would advocate for fiscal responsibility, and attempt to aid businesses.
“Converse County has to be, and quite frankly the town of Douglas, a little more business friendly,” he said.
He also made clear his desire to side with voter interests.
“If the voters vote something down, don’t try to serve it with new peanut butter on that sandwich,” Joppru explained, noting that the rec center was voted down and should stay down.
Short, who lives in Douglas and has business interests in Glenrock, described his decision to run again for commissioner as an emotional one.
“I love Converse County, and I want to help Converse County,” he said.
Short said that, if re-elected, he hopes to spend the next four years ensuring the county’s future well-being.  
“It’s important to invest in our county, for our children and their great-great-great-great grandchildren,” Short said. “It requires an ongoing commitment, and I’m that guy . . . Short is standing tall for Converse County, baby.”
Lehner mentioned that he wanted to return to his commissioners seat in order to complete unfinished business.
“We want to be responsible with some of the good fortune that we’ve been able to have,” he said. “And (we want) to try and improve conditions in our county for all of the citizens . . . I’m just really excited to give her another shot.”
Lehner, of Glenrock, spoke about the importance of the county road system and other infrastructure-related projects, that the commissioners have tackled in recent years.
“There are opportunities to really improve the county,” Lehner said. “I would just love the opportunity to continue to serve and do the best that I can for Converse County.”
Willox, a Douglas businessman who has been a commissioner for more than a decade, wants to keep the county on solid footing.
“I want to continue to do my part to see that Converse County grows wisely and is fiscally smart,” Willox said.
One of Willox’s goals, if re-elected, would be to oversee the environmental impact statement for the proposed 5,000 oil and gas wells. He has been the commissioners’ lead for the EIS for the last four years. The county could see massive oil and gas development in the near future if the Bureau of Land Management approves the full plan.
“I’d like to see the Converse County EIS through its fruition,” he said. “I’d like to see it get to the ROD (Record of Decision) and make sure it includes those things that are important to people in the county, and then continue to make sure we make wise investments.”

Dalgarn will face off against incumbent Ross Gorman for County Coroner, while Michelle Maines is running against incumbent County Clerk Lucile Taylor.  The following candidates will run unopposed: Quentin Richardson for County Attorney, Clint Becker for Sheriff, Joel Schell for Treasurer, Dixie Huxtable for Assessor and Pam McCullough for Clerk of District Court. All are Republicans.

Leda Price has filed for Lost Springs mayor. Arthur Stringham will run for Lost Springs council. Jon Maines is running for Rolling Hills mayor. Kenneth Montgomery and Chauna Nugent are running for the two available four-year offices on Rolling Hills Town Council.
As of press time, Roumell, Dalgarn and Faunce have not responded for comment.


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