By Bill Sniffin, publisher
Millions of dollars later, the results of Tuesday’s general election in Wyoming ended up being pretty darned predictable.
After Nov. 3, two-thirds of the state’s national delegation will be female, which is truly a wonderful testament to a place called The Equality State.
Also, some legislative races were hard-fought with lots of money spent and lots of nastiness on display.
But the big races were predictable:
Cynthia Lummis became the first woman senator in the state’s history, as she earned the right to take on U. S. Sen. Mike Enzi’s seat with an easy win over Merav Ben-David.
Unofficial results had Republican Lummis defeating Ben-David by 176,102 to 67,387. The Ben-David campaign spent unusual amounts of money as the national Democrat Party and its various supporters spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to knock off Lummis.
Incumbent U. S. Rep. Liz Cheney easily defeated Lynnette Grey Bull, 240,547 to 61,552, according to unofficial results.
Looking ahead to the next legislative session, there appears to be a trend toward “no new taxes.” Yet, in the face of that trend, the voters in Fremont County have twice voted to tax themselves over the last 90 days.
In August, Fremont County voters narrowly voted to add a half cent tax for economic development.
Tuesday, those same county voters voted to continue a one cent tax that is used to repair local roads. Perhaps this trend shows that Wyoming people, while being opposed to statewide income taxes and other taxes like that, might be willing to tax themselves on a local basis where the money is going for local projects.
Some local legislative races drew statewide attention:
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard of Cheyenne easily turned back what was anticipated to be a strong challenge from Democrat Britney Wallesch, 6,707 to 3,702 during Tuesday’s general election in Wyoming.
Bouchard is the founder of the Wyoming Gun Owners organization which campaigned aggressively for him. He won a difficult Republican primary race back in August and it was anticipated that this would be a close race, too.
Some observers had thought a large contingent of Cheyenne Democrats could have propelled Wallesch to an upset win. But that did not happen. Bouchard also polled well in part of Goshen County that is included in his Senate District 6.
In Riverton, Republican Ember Oakley squeaked to a 30-vote victory over Libertarian Bethany Baldes Tuesday in a highly-anticipated election for House District 55.
Oakley, a former deputy prosecutor, had been aggressively attacked by the Wyoming Gun Owners organization, but still managed to squeeze out the win.
The seat had been held for 19 years by Dave Miller of Riverton, who decided to retire. He had narrowed defeated Baldes two years ago. And in a surprise, Miller endorsed Baldes in this race.
During the August primary, WYGO was successful in just about every race where they championed one candidate over another. But this time their efforts in Riverton fell short by a whisker.
Unofficial vote totals showed Wyoming going strong for President Donald Trump with 181,257 votes. Joe Biden got 69,623. Two lesser candidates got 5,414 and 2,090.
As this story was being written, the national result of the presidential election was still unknown. It could be days before a final call will be made. Some observers feel it might take months. Hold on to your hats.