By Leo Wolfson, State Politics Reporter
State Sen. Stephan Pappas, R-Cheyenne, held on to his seat for a third term Tuesday night.
With all votes except mail-in ballots counted, Pappas beat Democratic challenger Marcie Kindred by 16% of the vote, a margin of 780 votes.
Pappas supported Wyoming’s trigger law that went into effect this year, banning all abortions in the state except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or when the pregnancy stemmed from a rape or incest.
Pappas is chairman of the Select Committee on School Facilities and a member of the Senate Revenue and Highways, Transportation and Military Affairs committees.
A moderate Republican, Pappas is a fervent supporter of Medicaid expansion and funding the state’s mental health services. Unlike many other Republican legislators, he isn’t opposed to accepting federal money, expressing disgust in a September Cowboy State Daily story that the state has turned away what he said amounts to about $1 billion in federal grants.
Pappas has said the state needs to develop a better funding model and supports an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. He describes himself as “very pro fossil fuels” but also wants the state to pursue and support alternate sources of energy like wind, carbon capture and carbon-sourced building beams.
Kindred’s loss was one of a few opportunities Democrats missed to take Republican-held seats Tuesday night. No Cheyenne Democratic candidate won, meaning the state’s capital city will continue to be completely represented by Republicans for at least the next two years.
“The Kindred campaign ran circles around Pappas, but Cheyenne still chose to elect the incumbent,” Kindred said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at the door with a constituent, in full agreement on multiple topics, until they find out my party affiliation.”
Kindred said she voted for Republicans herself this year and feels “like I’m in an alternate universe. I vote for who’s right for the job but that is obviously not where we’re at as a country.”
Kindred spent $37,343 during her campaign, while Pappas spent less than half at $13,526.