Teton County Mostly Blue, One Independent, As Voters Reelect Housing-Control Commissioners

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Correction: This story has been updated to note that Greg Epstein changed his affiliation from Democrat to Independent during his term.

By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily

The Teton County Commission went full blue in Tuesday’s general election except for one Independent – which could mean slower, tightly controlled housing development in the region.  

There is currently one Republican, Mark Barron, serving on the Teton County Commission in Wyoming’s richest county, but Barron did not run for reelection this season.  

Elected as a Democrat, commissioner Greg Epstein changed his affiliation to Independent during his term.

Barron was sometimes the lone voice of approval when the rest of the Commission voted against efforts to turn acreage into workforce housing. Teton County for years has endured a housing crisis, as million-dollar homes make up roughly 40% of the market.  

Hospital, school and government workers often commute from outside counties to serve the community.

However, the region also has some of the state’s most pristine lands and with those environmental and aesthetic concerns. 

Two Democratic incumbent commissioners, Mark Newcomb and Luther Propst, both ran for reelection and won soundly, toppling Republican candidates Tom Segerstrom, Peter Long and Kasey Mateosky by roughly 1,000 votes per race, and Independent Brenden F. Cronin by about 4,000.  

Newcomb and Propst as commissioners voted at least twice against housing-development propositions, saying community layout changes should be done more carefully, or citing environmental concerns. 

Mateosky told Cowboy State Daily last week that he would have voted for workforce housing developments had he been elected.  

A third Democrat who won in the race for three open Commission seats was Democrat Wes Gardner, who was not an incumbent.  

Gardner will replace Barron in January.

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