Long lines of voters in Gillette might make results late

In most states, the primary election is just a first act. But in states dominated by one party, like Wyoming, just about all the serious action happens on primary.

Bill Sniffin

August 19, 20203 min read

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By Bill Sniffin

After the polls closed, there was still a line of people waiting to vote in Gillette, we have been told.  Might be a slow night getting results.

And it is no wonder.  The Campbell County state senate seat was featuring one of the hottest local elections in the state with incumbent Sen. Michael Von Flatern being challenged by Troy McKeown.

Von Flatern was even endorsed by 24-year U. S. Senator Mike Enzi. This was designed to offset the bitter attacks launched against the incumbent by the Wyoming Gun Owners organization, who favored Troy McKeown.

The House race between Mickey Shober and John Bear appeared to be quite contested, too.

Politics is alive and well in Campbell County, based on tonight’s actions.

Casey Campbell, who is monitoring the results in Campbell County for us through County 17, said “I should’ve ordered a pizza!”

Casey said he drove by the polling center at 6:30 p.m. tonight and the parking lot was jammed full. 

A true example of Democracy is action is happening in Gillette today.

Pizza?  Why not.  Waiting for the results can make for a long night. This is my 50th year of staying up late monitoring election results in Wyoming.  It has been quite a journey.

Back in 1970, the Democrat Party was thriving.  Two of the three national representatives were members of the Democratic Party.  Boy, things have changed.

And yet here in 2020, after years of slumber, the statewide Democrat Party fielded an aggressive field of candidates.  Heck, there are SIX people vying for the nomination for U. S. Senate.  The names DeBrine, Casner, Ben David, Wendt, Wilde, and Ludwig show there really is life in the old party, after all.

On the Republican side it’s easy to call the Republican primary for the U. S. Senate, “Snow White and the nine dwarfs.” And yet some candidates spent some serious money. It will be interesting to see if any of the nine could deny Cynthia Lummis this nomination. Those candidates are Miller, Cade, Rice, Holtz, Wheeler, Kamler, Short, and Roselli. 

Meanwhile, in most states, the primary election is just a first act.  But in states dominated by one party, like Wyoming, just about all the serious action happens on primary election day.

With that thought in mind, most of us who love to watch politics are waiting with bated breath to see how these races turned out.

This truly is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party in Wyoming.

The Cowboy State is now a state with three parties:  The Democrats. The Very Conservative Republicans. And the Moderate Republicans.

The polls just closed and soon, the returns will be coming in.

We can hardly wait!

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Bill Sniffin

Wyoming Life Columnist

Columnist, author, and journalist Bill Sniffin writes about Wyoming life on Cowboy State Daily -- the state's most-read news publication.