Lingle man Scott Smith defeated incumbent Rep. Shelley Duncan in the Republican Primary for the state House district representing Goshen County.
Smith won by about 250 vote leads, with 1,794 votes to Duncan’s 1,546, according to preliminary results from the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office.
There is no Democratic candidate challenging Smith in the upcoming general election.
“I’m feeling optimistic and excited to see what we can do to keep the federal government at bay with out state,” Smith told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday morning.
Originally from Detroit, Smith has lived in Wyoming for a decade, saying city life is not for him. He worked as a missionary teacher at an orphanage in Honduras after living in Detroit.
“Wyoming is a pleasant change and I chose to come here,” he said.
Smith manages the financial accounts for a mechanical repair shop and runs office scheduling and service writing.
Because of his current career and his past work managing budgets for a Christian camp and a Christian school, Smith said he feels confident in his ability to help Wyoming stay within its budget. He also worked as a teacher at the Christian school, and said one of the ways in which he managed the school’s budget was by having kids and teachers help with custodial work to cut personnel costs. He noticed an increase in pride and responsibility in the kids after this decision.
The biggest issue he wants to tackle in the state House is property tax reform.
Property taxes in Wyoming skyrocketed this year with rising real estate prices. Multiple legislators have said it could take a change in the Wyoming Constitution to make a more stable tax structure for Wyoming residents.
Smith also said he’d like to equip the state to push back against federal government guidance that could lead to incoming mandates to adopt gender-identity policies such as transgender bathroom use and school sports participation. If the guidance becomes an official rule, Wyoming could lose about $40 million per year in school meals funding.
Duncan did not respond Wednesday morning to a voicemail from Cowboy State Daily. Also from Lingle, she is finishing out her second term in the House.