Incumbents Apparently Lose In Some Wyoming Legislative Primaries
The numbers aren't official yet, but as of Wednesday morning, it appeared that several incumbent Wyoming lawmakers may have been defeated in Tuesday's primary voting.
Among the notable lawmakers facing defeat was Campbell County Republican Sen. Micheal Von Flatern, who garnered about 36 percent of the vote in a losing effort against Republican challenger Troy McKeown in a campaign in which gun rights were a major issue. McKeown appeared to have gotten 64 percent of the vote in his race against Von Flatern, who is generally considered to be one of the more liberal Republicans in the state legislature.
Also apparently losing on Tuesday was Tyler Lindholm in House District #1. Lindholm, perhaps best known for sponsoring the Wyoming Food Freedom Act, was also the Republican Whip in the Wyoming House.
Other notable Republican incumbents who appeared to be going down to defeat according to unofficial returns on Wednesday morning included Rep. Dan Kirkbride of House District 4, Richard Tass in House District 40, and Bill Pownall in House District 52.
Another veteran lawmaker, Rep. David Northrup, appeared to have lost his bid to win an open Senate seat being vacated by long-time Senator Hank Coe of Cody.
But the anti-incumbent mood aimed at state lawmakers apparently did not extend to Laramie County. Three incumbent Republicans in southeast Wyoming--senators Affie Ellis and Anthony Bouchard, and long-time Rep. Dan Zwonitzer all were apparently re-nominated on Tuesday. Of those three, only Bouchard was held under 60 percent, as he defeated challenger Erin Johnson by a margin of 52-48 percent.
None of Tuesday's results will be official until they are certified by the state canvassing board. Any margin of 1 percent or less will trigger an automatic recount under state law.
As things stood on Wednesday, that appeared to be possible in at least two races. House District 18, where Scott Heiner led incumbent Thomas Crank by only five votes. and House District 14, where Matthew Burkhart led Katrina Cox by only two votes.