By Leo Wolfson, political reporter
Cowboy State Daily’s live election coverage starts at 7pm. Join our live blog.
Primary Election day is here in Wyoming.
With polls opening at 7 a.m. around the state Tuesday morning, voters have flooded their local polling places, electing candidates they believe will make Wyoming a better place.
Cheney vs. Hageman
The Republican primary for the U.S. House race between Rep. Liz Cheney and leading challenger Harriet Hageman has received national attention for months, with major media outlets writing hundreds of stories about the challengers.
Recent polls suggest Hageman has a comfortable lead in the race but pre-election surveys are not always correct. One great example of this was in the 2016 presidential election, where very few polls predicted that former President Donald Trump would win.
Cheney will likely need a strong turnout from her supporters in the highly populated Natrona and Laramie counties, as well historic crossover voting from people previously registered as Democrats and Independents.
A recent University of Wyoming poll suggests she does not have Independent voter support and not enough Democrats exist in the state to help her win.
Many notable Democrats throughout the state have pledged support for Cheney, leading many to believe the election will feature historic levels of crossover voting.
Many, including the candidates, have made Trump a focus of the race, with Cheney speaking against the former president and Hageman supporting Trump and earning his endorsement.
Gray vs. Nethercott
The Secretary of State race is getting some of the most attention on a state level currently, as mudslinging between State Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper and State Sen. Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne has increased in the weeks leading up to primary day.
Over the weekend, Gray released an advertisement featuring a number of false claims against Nethercott, including that she is being sued for defamation and under investigation for campaign finance violations. Nethercott has not been served with any lawsuit and the Secretary of State office has confirmed no investigation is taking place of her for campaign finance issues.
Gray did not respond to requests for comment to explain his allegations.
He did file a complaint against her for failing to include the “paid for” line on her campaign signs, but this is not a legal requirement in Wyoming elections.
Nethercott has attacked Gray for his sources of campaign funding. Former Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield, a Nethercott supporter, filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Gray related to his 2021 U.S. House campaign, a document that was leaked to the media.
This document and finances for Gray’s current campaign show he has received a significant portion of his funding from his father. Nethercott and her supporters have criticized Gray for this.
Gordon vs. Bien vs. Rammell
The Republican primary for the Wyoming Governor’s race has not received nearly as much attention as it did in 2018, when Gov. Mark Gordon was elected.
Gordon’s opponents have mostly criticized him for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with leading opponent Brent Bien saying the governor’s handling of this event was his main inspiration for running. Gordon has defended his handling of the pandemic and has cited the fact that Wyoming was one of the first states in the country to reopen its public schools in August 2020.
The majority of mudslinging in this race has been between Bien and fellow challenger Rex Rammell. Rammell has accused Bien of being ineligible to run in the race because he was recently serving in the military overseas. Last week, Rammell said he planned to file a lawsuit against the Secretary of State’s office for failing to take action on the matter.
Besides management of the pandemic, which both Rammell and Bien have said they would not have initiated shutdowns for, the candidates are fairly similar politically. Rammell is the most conservative of the three, saying he will confiscate all federal lands from the U.S. government immediately upon taking office.
Key State Legislature races
- Republican Senate 25: Cale Case (incumbent) vs. Shawn Olmstead
- Republican House 20: Albert Sommers (incumbent) vs. Mike Schmid vs. Bill Winney
- Republican Senate 15: Wendy Schuler (incumbent) vs. Bob Wharff
- Democrat House 23: Liz Storer vs. Ryan Sedgeley
- Republican Senate 29: Drew Perkins (incumbent) vs. Bob Ide
- Republican House 37: Steve Harshman (incumbent) vs. Steve Bray
- Republican House 58: Pat Sweeney (incumbent) vs. Bill Allemand
- Republican House 1: Ogden Driskill (incumbent) vs. Bill Fortner vs. Roger Connett
- Republican Senate 23: Eric Barlow vs. Patricia Junek (write-in candidate)
- Republican House 3: Rusty Bell vs. Abby Angelos
- Republican House 5: Shelly Duncan (incumbent) vs. Scott Smith
- Republican House 9: Landon Brown (incumbent) vs. Alan Sheldon vs. Dean Petersen
- Republican House 44: John Romero-Martinez (incumbent) vs. Michael Reyes vs. Tamara Trujillo
- Democrat House 11: James Byrd vs. Marguerite Herman
- Republican House 40: Barry Crago (incumbent) vs. Richard Tass
- Republican House 51: Cyrus Western (incumbent) vs. Bryan Miller
- Republican Senate 19: R.J. Kost (incumbent) vs. Dan Laursen vs. Ray Petersen
- Republican House 25: Chris Good vs. David Northrup vs. Troy Bray vs. Rex Rich
Cowboy State Daily will have non-stop, live primary election coverage beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tune in for a live blog of political analysis, the most up-to-date election coverage in the state and expert political analysis from the Cowboy State Daily team.