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1451 - Demise of the split ticker and a monk croaks

         In a recent column, I questioned that in the current Wyoming Republican-dominated political landscape, would it even be possible for such popular Democrat governors as Ed Herschler, Mike Sullivan or Dave Freudenthal to win today?

         This was in the wake of the big loss suffered by Democrat Mike Ceballos who many (including this writer) thought would do much better in his race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

         Two Democrats contacted me with some spirited thoughts.

         UW Prof Phil Roberts of Laramie speculated that “split ticket” voting might be dead in Wyoming.  In the past, the state offered up enough attractive Democrat candidates that most voters would consider splitting their ballot among candidates from both parties.

         He reports: “I did some very quick spot research and, from preliminary checks, I rarely find any election where every successful candidate was from one or the other party. Always, there seems to have been ‘ticket-splitting’ in Wyoming. Exceptions were during the New Deal era (1934-38) when every state office (all fivegovernor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, state superintendent) was held by Democrats, both U. S. Senators (O`Mahoney and Schwartz) were Democrats and the sole House member was a Democrat (Paul Greever of Cody).

“While Republicans have held many of the slots in recent years, this is a whole new political era in the past four years when all top elected spots are held by Republicans. This is a major change. Ticket-splitting is extinct in Wyoming.  For some 120 years of statehood, rarely did one party hold EVERY office.”

Although Roberts is concerned about the demise of the split voting ticket, he says that he has never voted a straight ticket.

Former State Sen. Rae Lynn Job of Rock Springs also commented:

         “I supported Ceballos and worked on his campaign so you know that I am disheartened by these results.  The reason that I`m writing is that your column disturbed a deeply held ideal for me.  I am a Democrat, always have been, always will be.  

“Even so, in our family it was recognized that sometimes the candidate from your own party was not the best and it was in this state`s and this country`s best interest (the greater good) to vote for the most qualified candidate.  

“The current state of affairs, where irrational or uninformed adherence to party affiliation is the priority rather than looking out for the country`s future by voting for the most qualified candidate, is frightening and I believe puts our revered (or so I thought) democracy at risk.” 

Both Phil and Rae Lynn are true-blue Democrats in what has become the reddest of all states.  Their comments are interesting and worth repeating.

So while we are printing the obituary of split ticket voting, perhaps another death could be reported here.

Up in Cody, the following story was reported by contractor Rich Dowell about an incident at a project where he was doing work:

        “As some of you know I am currently the Superintendent on a construction project (Google “monastery, Meeteetse). I currently have 11 buildings going vertical at the same time; you can check some of the past posts for pictures of the job site. This is a three-to-five year project so a lot of care and detail work is involved.

       “There are three priests and 15 monks working on the project. They are doing all of the site work and all of the finished stone work. They do amazing work. 
 I had to go and meet with the board of directors and was to be accompanied by one of the priests and one of the monks. The board had arrived and we were stalling them waiting on the arrival of the priest when I get a phone call. Father told me over the phone that they would be late because one of the monks croaked this morning.

        “I said ‘Oh man I am so sorry.’ He said they would be a little late. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. He got real quiet and asked why I was sorry? I should be celebrating.

   “Well hell, ok, if that’s what you want, He said this was a big deal and happens pretty often. Damn glad I am not a monk.

   “I asked what happened, car accident or disease or just what? Father started laughing and said, `I said one of the monks got cloaked, not croaked. He got his robes.’ They were still laughing about that all afternoon.”


1450 - A road trip across cold and snowy Wyoming

A lonely bald eagle near Kaycee, a long pile-up of semi-trailer trucks on Interstate 80 near Rock Springs, dry roads all around Rawlins and high winds between Douglas and Wheatland.

         These were just a few of the adventures during a recent road trip around the state.

         It started on the last day of the most beautiful autumn most of us have ever experienced in Wyoming.  On Sunday, Nov. 9, I listened to the Bronco game while heading over South Pass to Rock Springs to stay ahead of a big snowstorm bearing down on Lander. The Rock Springs chamber asked me to talk during their annual monthly luncheon and it made sense to drive over the night before. During my talk, a blizzard hit Sweetwater County with a vengeance.

         Our next stop was a talk to the Geo Wives in Casper and, again, it did not make any sense to go over South Pass through Lander since that area got 8 inches of snow and winds were blasting the pass.

         On Interstate 80 on our way out of Rock Springs, here were four semi-trailer trucks smashed into each other, followed by a mile of stalled vehicles, followed by three more smashed trucks, followed by another mile of stalled vehicles and then more smashed trucks. This thing stretched eight miles. Sure glad all I was doing was fighting black ice in my eastbound lane

         We were able to go about 30 mph for 30 miles and I thought we might end up in Rawlins for the night, but the roads cleared and off we went at the official 80 mph speed limit.

         In Casper, we stayed at the newly remodeled Ramkota Inn and, wow that is quite a facelift.  Compliments to Renee Penton Jones and Karin East onsite and Dave Sweet and the rest of the Ramkota crowd for investing serious money in a Wyoming facility.

         Casper was the coldest place in North America at -27 so we stayed there an extra day!

         Then it was on to Cheyenne.  We chatted with Tom Saunders at Converse County Bank in Douglas and found out the boom in his town is real.

         He told how the RV parks are full of oil field workers and even the State Fairgrounds was at capacity with the trailers.  When the fair came around, the city and county worked out an arrangement where all the RVs could be moved for that big week and then could move back when the fair was over.  Good planning.     He said 15 big oilrigs were working around the area. Helga Bull and Patty Morrell at the chamber echoed the same story.

         In Wheatland, growth is more modest.  LeVay “Blinkie” Byers, who operates the Interstate Gas Shell Station, said they have “steady” activity but are missing the boom happening to Douglas to the north and Cheyenne to the south.

         In Cheyenne, the annual Wyoming Business Forum put on by Bill Schilling and his excellent crew was great. 

         Then we were anxious to get home.  It took just four hours to get from Cheyenne to Lander on dry highways. And that included stops in Laramie and Rawlins.  Amazing what that official 80 mph speed limit can provide if you drive safely and just keep on going.

         Then it was off to Sheridan Sunday for a fund-raiser at Kim Love’s Frackelton’s Restaurant.  Again, we left a day early (a sign of my cautious old age), and encountered black ice and one huge ghostly buck deer crossing Interstate 25 just north of Buffalo.

         Picked up the latest copy of the Durant Courant, the official Longmire newspaper at the Buffalo Bulletin office.  I imagine there has been an “extra” printed announcing the fourth season of the popular TV show coming back. 

         Back in Sheridan, Love said the economy is “humming.” The town looks prosperous.  Old friends Karen and Torrey Moody at the Mill Inn put us in the “honeymoon” suite, which included a red heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub.  Hmm.  I honestly think it has been 48 years between our stays in honeymoon suites.

         Saw local phenom photographer Tim Doolin in Sheridan.  Understand he recently created and donated proceeds from a calendar of his photos to benefit a sick friend.  Nice guy.

         While driving around Sheridan, we saw a trainload of jet passenger plane fuselages go by – amazing.

         We rolled back into Lander Tuesday, Nov. 18. Whew, nine days of winter weather driving was completed . . . at least until the next Wyoming book tour.



1449 - Movers and Shakers heard wonderful speakers

         When famed author and reporter Bob Woodward asked a Wyoming audience recently if they thought President Barack Obama was doing a good job – about 12 out of 500 hands went up.

         Later when he asked how many people thought the economy was improving, an overwhelming majority of people raised their hands.

         Thus is the paradox of booming Wyoming compared to the rest of the struggling country.

         Woodward is a terrific speaker who keynoted the Wyoming Business Alliance annual forum in Cheyenne.  He also was able to tell “insider” stories that were fascinating.

         He is an impartial reporter but he has strong feelings about how the president is performing.  He feels Obama has few allies in Washington, DC and around the world.        

         “You need a pound of threat and an ounce of action in order to be a good president,” Woodward said, quoting a longtime senior presidential advisor.  He said Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, has no fear whatsoever of Obama.

         The Cheyenne meeting also included a talk by Garry Kasparov, the leading opposition leader to the Russian president. He offered some amazing insights.

         He said Putin is a bully, a tyrant and is the most powerful man in the world today. “All he cares about is oil and gas and how to have Mother Russia regain her previous land mass and international power.”

         Kasparov quoted a British diplomat who was disappointed in President Obama:  “Obama is the only president in history who could make Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill.”

         His comments were chilling as he predicted a world where Putin will continue to push limits and an impotent Obama will make empty threats.

         It was interesting that two men so totally different as Woodward and Kasparov would be so unanimous in their criticism of the president.

         Woodward said one of the Congress’s most powerful Democrats confided to him that Obama had only phoned him twice in five years.  “The president has no network,” he said.

         Despite the partial improvement of the national economy under Obama, neither speaker chose to give Obama credit for doing anything well over the past six years.

         This was the 32nd annual forum, which also includes Wyoming Heritage Society and Leadership Wyoming. It is the definitive meeting of movers and shakers in Wyoming.  Just about everybody wanting to take the pulse of the state shows up, which is why I have been to most of the forums over the years.

         There were lots of other interesting speakers and eye-opening facts presented.

         Joe Bastardi, of WeatherBell, showed stacks of figures to disprove the whole concept of global warming.  Pretty convincing to this crowd. Another speaker who followed him tried to offer a contrasting view but fell pretty flat.

         Gov. Matt Mead optimistically talked about how “wired” Wyoming will soon be which kicked off the event. He explained that Wyoming, even though it is the smallest populated state, will have digital power available to its citizens as powerful as anywhere in the county.

         The state’s second largest industry is doing very well. A tourism panel revealed that last year Wyoming did $3.2 billion in total business with over 30,000 people working in the industry, according to Diane Shober, director of the travel and tourism.

         Sheridan was highlighted as being a top town to capitalize on its western heritage.  It was number one western town in USA says Dave Kinksey, long time Sheridan mayor and new state senator. He showed some fun slides of how folks in that northern Wyoming city enjoy themselves by touting their cowboy heritage. 

He said the third Thursday promotion in Sheridan was born – they close streets and allow music and fun, etc.  He said they use “best management” practices to keep excess drinking under control.

He also showed how folks in Buffalo have exploited the Longmire TV show and how Kaycee has interesting events and places.

         Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott talked about how wildlife is terrific draw for tourists coming to Wyoming. He also pointed out that some of these folks are thrilled just to see a coyote, prairie dog or a jackrabbit. Our state’s ability to show off our wildlife in incomparable to anywhere else in the USA

He also quoted our Wyoming ethic “to leave things better than we found them. We have an obligation to if we find one blade of grass, to leave two.” He also credited the 300 licensed guides and outfitters in Wyoming with making all this work.


1448 - Economy in Wyoming is robust in places

According to all indicators, business in my home county of Fremont is going well.  My banker friends and Chamber of Commerce officials say times are good. Business folks are doing brisk sales.

         And yet, I admit to feeling like I returned to Sleepy Hollow after a whirlwind spin around the state.  If you think business is okay in Lander and Riverton, folks, you need to get out and see what is happening in Cheyenne, Laramie, Gillette, Casper, Rock Springs and Jackson.

         The level of building activity, business expansion and the overall buzz of traffic is operating at the speed of blur, compared to where I live.

         But I have not been everywhere.  I have not been to Douglas, Rawlins, Buffalo, Sheridan or Pinedale yet.

         My travels involved seeing the huge investment that is continuing to be made by the state of Wyoming at the university in Laramie.  The new Rochelle Gateway Center is a masterpiece and was built with a big chunk of donated funds by the Rochelle and McMurry families.

         A week earlier, we were 200 miles north of Laramie.

         At the extreme northeast portion of the state sits the small but vibrant town of Hulett.  The Devils Tower Forest Products facility by the Neiman family is something to behold. Most Wyoming folks assume the state’s timbering industry is static. They are very, very wrong.

         My friend Joe McGowan, the former Associated Press writer from Cheyenne, wrote me about a similar quick trip around the state:

Curiously, I also made a big tour of Wyoming in September and saw what you described. We drove from our home in Denver to Cheyenne and headed west on I-80 through Little America, turned north to Kemmerer and on to Afton for a visit to the impressive Aviat Aviation Co. My wife is a flight instructor, so seeing the Husky (a bush plane) and the Pitts stunt plane being built in little old Afton was a treat. The Call family used to own the plant, some of them from the Star Valley newspaper.

   “On to Jackson and then Yellowstone where the south loop road to Old Faithful has melted and we were told they may not be able to rebuild it! Then to Cody. Got to see the shootout in front of the Irma Hotel. A visit to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center outside Cody was most interesting.

“Then on to my hometown Sheridan, then on to Gillette where we got the last available motel room. On to Devils Tower, then south to Douglas and on to Wheatland to retrieve my dog.

         “The number of pickup trucks, large trucks, tankers and everything on Wyoming’s roads was astounding.”

         My friend Joe is not the only Joe McGowan that I have known. The other one was the nicest young man ever. He died after being attacked in a Laramie fracas on Halloween. His mom and dad, Anne and Kevin, are long-time friends and we are keeping them and Joe’s brother Patrick in our prayers.

         Back to the current boom going on in our state.

         Earlier I wrote it seemed a little sleepy in Fremont County after going to all these hot spots.

         Well, maybe not so fast. There really are some things going on in our quiet little county.

         The multi-million dollar Wyoming Job Corps Center is under construction in Riverton. I would propose they name it after Sen. Mike Enzi who worked so hard to make it happen. It will have a huge impact on Wind River Country and the entire state, we would predict. All these booming businesses need workers and this would be a future source.

         In Fremont County, we also found ourselves visiting some casinos and saw just how busy they are.  It is still stunning to me to be able to walk into busy Las Vegas-style casinos in the center of Wyoming. There are three casinos being operated by the Northern Arapaho Tribe and one by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe.

The Wind River Casino just south of Riverton is building a series of new restaurants. The Shoshone Rose Casino just outside of Lander has big plans on tap for expansion including a hotel and other attractions.

         Here in my hometown of Lander, ground has been broken on a $3 million Central Wyoming College center and folks are already enjoying our new $5.6 million Community and Convention Center.

         So it might be sleepy, but then again, sometimes that is not the worst situation in the world.

1447 - Reflections on (2014) general elections

         In the end, most of Mike Ceballos’ business friends were right.

         Throughout his general election campaign for State Supt. of Public Instruction, his friends reminded him that they had asked him to switch to the Republican Party or at least run as an independent in this election.

         He always felt he had to be true to his long-time Democrat Party loyalty, and most will now believe that was his downfall in losing decisively to Republican Jillian Balow.

         This was the most contested of the races in the general election held Tuesday, Nov. 4. It was a hotly contested and exciting race.

         Balow will do just fine as our new state superintendent, but Ceballos would have been something special.

         Alas, today in Wyoming it is almost impossible for a Democrat to win a statewide race.  You have to wonder if Dave Freudenthal, Mike Sullivan or Ed Herschler were running today – could they win?

         I really thought Ceballos had a good chance. He worked hard, raised a lot of money and had a huge following of Republicans around the state. It still was not enough. He lost by more than 20 percentage points and 35,000 votes. It really was not even close.  He did somewhat better than Mike Massie did four years ago against Cindy Hill, but still winning a statewide race as a Democrat today just seems impossible.

         In an earlier column, I predicted a Balow win but called it a super narrow race. Oh well.

         The other races were not so surprising.

         Gov. Mead got 62 percent of the vote (I predicted he would get 61 percent) and coasted to reelection.

         U. S. Sen. Mike Enzi easily won and will do some wonderful things in the next six years for Wyoming as he moves back into chairmanships of powerful committees. Hopefully his brand of across-the-aisle cooperation will cause some good to come out of Congress in the next few years.

         Enzi got 72 percent of the vote, somewhat less than the 81 percent I thought he would get, but then again, I am one of his biggest fans.  When his political career is over, I believe it will be hard to find a politician in Wyoming history that has compiled a better of record of getting things done than our senior senator Enzi. The man is a workhorse and, as we all know, is the “nicest” person in Congress.  He was actually voted that in a poll of Congressional observers.

         Ed Murray coasted to a 77 percent victory margin in the Secretary of State race. I smugly predicted a 78 percent margin. Murray will do great things for our state, especially on those boards where all the big decisions are made.  His business experience will bring wonderful expertise to decisions.

         My biggest mistakes in my predictions were in overall vote totals. I thought there would be about 30,000 more voters than the total that actually turned out.

         It should be noted that Wyoming people overwhelmingly voted against an amendment allowing more out of state people to be appointed to the University of Wyoming board of trustees. Not sure what that was about, but it sure showed some local fervor.

         In Jackson, congratulations to Sara Flitner for winning a tight race for mayor.  During her campaign, I heard her say that housing for workers is a bigger problem today than ever before. Quite a statement, which also speaks volumes about the boom going on in Teton County.

         Also, in the primary there, one candidate reportedly lost a race by ONE vote. How often does that happen?

         Gov. Mead was joking during the campaign about how his kids called their family’s combined vacation and campaign trip  “Cam-Pation,” which might be a new word for those folks campaigning with young kids.

         Mike Ceballos always got a chuckle when he introduced his son Kelly, who served as his main advisor and driver.  Kelly was Pistol Pete for years a UW football games.

         Ceballos also visited all 48 school districts and plans to write a document of some sort for the public sharing his findings.

         He said Clearmont, the smallest district with just 82 students, is doing amazing things through its FFA with something called “concentration.” Stay tuned on that one.

         Ceballos put 50,000 miles on his car while I think Murray set the pace with over 60,000 miles.  These guys were everywhere. They were fortunate the weather was so cooperative.

         Thanks again to all our candidates.



1446 - Could Ebola come to Wyoming?

Those “hazardous materials” suits that you see health workers wearing on TV?  Well, they are not comfortable and they are difficult to get on and off.

         That is the conclusion by Steve Erixson, the administrator of the SageWest Hospitals in Lander and Riverton.

         He and his staff at the two hospitals have been working on Ebola issues ever since people started becoming infected with the deadly disease in Texas and other parts of the country.  Other hospitals in Wyoming have been working on plans for Ebola too.

         But back to Steve’s story:

         He was working on a do-it-yourself foam insulation-spraying project in the crawl space at his house and donned a Tyvex suit that is used for protection when working with insulation.

         When fully attired, he looked like a medical person in a hazard suit and he certainly felt like one.

         Here is what he discovered.

         “In 45 minutes, I was bathed in perspiration,” he recalls. “I could not wait to get that suit off.  It was so hot and stifling.”

Then he discovered just how difficult it was to get the suit off. It took awhile and he was trying to imagine how a health worker would deal with infectious substances while trying to remove such a suit.

         All he had to worry about was some foam. What if it was the contagious Ebola virus that he was trying to avoid getting into his system?

         Like hospitals all over the state, Lander and Riverton were also doing official drills and coming up with protocols for diseases such as Ebola.

         Ebola is the contagious disease that has killed nearly 4,000 people in Africa and recently had been imported to the USA, killing one man in Texas.

         Erixson believes no health worker could stand to work for more than two hours in one of these suits.  Just too confining. He has heard reports of health workers whose boots were filled with perspiration after a short time.

         One of the biggest problems, as he discovered with his Tyvex suit, was how do you get the suit off safely?

         It has been reported that some of the cases where health workers in Africa caught the disease (even after wearing protective suits) came from exposure while trying to get the suits off safely.

         Erixson says one solution was to always have people work in pairs and with a “buddy system,” they can help each other remove the protective clothing without getting exposed.

         Even small towns like Lander have people flying all over the world doing consulting or working in the energy field. I know several folks who work on an oil rig platform off the coast of Africa, 28 days on and 28 days off.

         As far as how local hospitals would deal with an Ebola patient, unless it was a massive outbreak, Erixson feels certain the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta would send a plane out to Wyoming and transport the patient to one of their selected hospitals alleviating the problem.

         At Sweetwater Memorial Hospital in Rock Springs, CEO Gerard Klein says, “Our first priority is the safety of our patients and our staff.”  He says they have been working with the Wyoming Department of Health on procedures.  “It has caused us to review and fine-tune our emergency response drills.”

         “What we are focused on is the emergency room and our triage spaces, where patients will have first access to our hospital,” said Alicia Lynch of Casper’s Wyoming Medical Center in a news report.

         Campbell County has many folks who travel the world in the energy business. Veronica Taylor, an infection prevention specialist at the hospital in Gillette says “the biggest thing with any disease like this is to just make sure you are prepared,” she was quoted in the local newspaper.

         She has also been prepping her staff for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and an unusual virus that affects children called EV-D68. It is not just Ebola on their radar screens.

         The Rawlins Daily Times quoted state epidemiologist Tracy Murphy: “There is a chance someone may contract the disease and get sick. But there is little risk to the general public.”

         Health professionals in Wyoming are gearing up for all kinds of horrible diseases, including Ebola.

         But one poster recently pointed out the flu kills more people than any exotic disease.  Time to get that flu shot, right?


1445 - General election predictions for Wyoming

You would normally think that a Wyoming general election would have some exciting close races. And if you predict the outcomes, you must be some sort of riverboat gambler.

         Not so this year, as the races are pretty cut and dried except for one.

         The most contested race is the State School Superintendent’s Race with better candidates than in recent years.  Republican Jillian Balow has the edge because of her party affiliation over Democrat Mike Ceballos. Wyoming could not lose no matter who finishes on top.

         I have worked with Ceballos on a number of projects and consider him a friend.  He is a proven leader and an expert on all phases of Wyoming education.  He was chairman of the P16 Education Commission for years and demonstrated the depth of his education knowledge. 

         Balow touts her organizational ability and the fact that she helps oversee a multi-million dollar budget at the Department of Family Services. These are credible accomplishments to tout in a statewide race and compared to Cindy Hill, who is occupying that office now, Balow would be a gigantic improvement.

         Four years ago, I thought former State Sen. Mike Massie could beat Hill, but he got destroyed. Hill doubled his vote totals to the surprise of many. 

         Biggest difference this year is that Ceballos is a proven conservative businessman with lots of Republican backers. He is running a much stronger race than Massie did because of this, but is it enough?

         I will vote for Ceballos because I know him better. And also because I believe he is the best person for the job in the entire state right now.  But either way, the state will be in much better shape than it has been with this seat for many years.

         Vote predictions:

         Jillian Balow, GOP – 93,143

         Mike Ceballos, Dem – 92,765

         The governor’s race should be another shoo-in for incumbent Matt Mead.

         He has endured criticism, which is unusual for a sitting Republican governor with his pedigree. His grandfather was the beloved governor and U. S. Senator Cliff Hansen. His mother Mary Mead lost a close race for governor to Mike Sullivan in 1990.

         But Mead has had to deal with the crazy Cindy Hill situation, the rise of the Tea Party and the first real Wyoming campaign that involved Social Media. 

         Now he is dealing with a write-in campaign by GOP primary loser Taylor Haynes, who wants to run for Wyoming governor to combat Ebola.

         Four years ago, Mead coasted to an easy win over Leslie Petersen. It will happen again.

         Meanwhile, his opponent Pete Gosar has run a good clean campaign as the Democrat. If this race were 25 years ago, Gosar would have a chance. But not today with Wyoming’s almost total Republican electorate.

         Vote predictions:

         Matt Mead, GOP – 114,991

         Pete Gosar, Dem – 55,293

Dee Cozzens, Lib. – 6,522

Don Willis, Ind. – 2,134

         Taylor Haynes, write in – 9,321

         Ed Murray won a hard-fought GOP primary battle for Secretary of State and faces two fringe candidates in the general. There is no Democrat running in this election.

         Murray is still campaigning hard and has put 50,000 miles on his rig. He deserves high marks for continuing this road trip across our great state.

         Vote predictions:

         Ed Murray, GOP – 140,571

         Jennifer Young, Const. – 31,611

         Kit Carson, Lib. – 8,544

         U. S. Senator Mike Enzi deserves reelection and the lack of big-time competitors shows just how effective and popular he really is.

         Enzi is not using his large war chest to win this race. He will win it by good old-fashioned meet-and-greets. Had Liz Cheney stayed in this race, this past summer`s Wyoming primary election would been in the headlines all across the country.  Thankfully she bowed out last Dec. 31, as it was an un-winnable race for her.

         I am sure Enzi will be relieved when this campaign is over so he can go back to work.

         If the Republicans regain control of the Senate, Enzi will be in a position to do some amazing things for his home state. We can’t wait.


         Mike Enzi, GOP - 152,333

         Charlie Hardy, Dem – 27,145

         Joe Porambo, Lib. – 4,378

         Curt Gottshall, Ind. – 4,153

         In other races, incumbent Cynthia Lummis will easily defeat her opponents. We send her condolences for the death of her husband.

         State Treasurer Mark Gordon and State Auditor Cynthia Cloud have no competitors.

         Be sure to vote and if you see any of these candidates, thank them for jumping into the political fray.