The Saratoga Sun -

Setting the ballot for 2020

Primary election to see multitude of candidates from national to municipal elections


If the amount of candidates who have filed is any indication, the 2020 Primary Election will be one to watch on the national, state and local level. Following the deadline of May 29, a total of 16 candidates will vie for the seat held by Senator Mike Enzi while House District 47 incumbent Jerry Paxton will face three challengers on the Republican ticket.

Even the county and municipal elections will see some serious competition with multiple candidates for the Board of Carbon County Commissioners, Saratoga Town Council and Encampment Town Council.

United States Senator

After more than 30 years serving in the United States Senate, Mike Enzi announced his retirement last year. Following that announcement, there was plenty of speculation as to who would run for his seat with some looking towards Representative Liz Cheney and former gubernatorial candidate Foster Friess talking about running. One of the candidates to come forward is former representative Cynthia Lummis, who has received endorsements from both Enzi and Senator John Barrasso.

Joining Lummis on the Repulican ticket are Bryan Miller, Devon Cade, Donna Rice, John Holtz, Josh Wheeler, Michael Kemler, R. Mark Armstrong, Robert G. Short and Star Roselli. It should be noted that Cade and Roselli are not currently Wyoming residents. The filing address for Cade is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the address for Roselli is in Scottsdale, Arizona. An out-of-state candidate is not unheard of, however, as Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente ran for United States Senator in 2018.

On the Democratic ticket, six candidates will be running to determine who will face the Republican candidate in November. This includes Elk Mountain resident Kenneth “Ken” Casner, who ran for governor in the 2018 Primary Election and for House District 47 in 2016. Joining Casner will be James Kirk DeBrine, Merav Ben David, Nathan Wendt, 2018 gubernatorial candidate Rex Wilde and Yana Ludwig.

United States Representative

Representative Liz Cheney will not be running uncontested in 2020 as Blake Stanley, who ran in the 2018 Primary Election, will be running against Cheney again this year.

On the Democratic ticket, three candidates will vie to see who will run against the Republican candidate. This includes Saratoga resident Carl Beach, who will be joined by Lynette Grey Bull and Carol Hafner. Hafner doesn’t currently reside in Wyoming and her filing address is in Box Elder, South Dakota.

House District 15

Representative Donald Burkhart, Jr. will be running for reelection for House District 15 unopposed on the Republican ticket for the 2020 Primary Election. He won’t run unopposed in November, however, as current Rawlins City Council member Jacquelin Wells will be running for House District 15 on the Democratic ticket.

House District 47

Representative Jerry Paxton will be running to keep his seat in the Wyoming Legislature, but will not be running unopposed in the primary election. In fact, Paxton will be facing three challengers in August. Rock River resident Julie McCallister, who has run against Paxton in the past three primaries, will be running, again. She will be joined by Saratoga resident Joey Correnti IV, who is the president of the Carbon County Republican Party, and Dee Garrison of Bairoil.

Board of Carbon County Commissioners

Three seats on the Board of Carbon County Commissioners will have five candidates for the primaries. Incumbents John Espy, Sue Jones and Byron Barkhurst have each filed to retain their positions on the board. Joining them are Rawlins resident Gerald “Jerry” Steele and Encampment resident Dustin “Dusty” Buffington.

Saratoga Town Council

The two seats on Saratoga Town Council up for election in the 2020 Primary Election have nine candidates, the most in recent history. 

Incumbent Steve Wilcoxson, who won in 2016 following a write-in campaign, filed to run before the May 29 deadline. Editors Note: Following his passing on May 29, Wilcoxson’s name will not appear on the primary ballot according to the Carbon County Clerk’s Office. Also running in the primaries are Tasha Worthington, Michael Cooley, Steve Heinitz, Kristen Teubner, Danny Burau, John Jump, Benjamin Spaulding and Creed James.

Encampment Town Council

South from Saratoga, two seats on the Encampment Town Council have four candidates. Incumbent Bill Craig has filed to run again and will be joined on the ballot by Stas Banach, who ran for Encampment Town Council, in 2018, Matthew Wagy and Kelly Ralston, who ran in 2014.

Riverside Town Council

Adjacent to Encampment, the Riverside Town Council has two seats up for election this year and only one candidate; Mark Helwick. One of those seats is currently held by Katie Cheesbrough, who has not filed to run, and one seat is vacant following the resignation of Liz Swynarczuk in 2019.

Hanna Town Council

In the northeastern corner of Carbon County, Hanna Town Council will see a race similar to that of Riverside as there are two seats with only one candidate; Jason Nordquist. Incumbents Robert “Bob” Patton and Linda Schisel have not filed to run for reelection.

Elk Mountain Town Council

In nearby Elk Mountain, there are two candidates for two seats with the filing of Angie Hobbs and Tammy Page.

Medicine Bow Town Council

East of Hanna, the Town of Medicine Bow has the most seats up for election with an unexpired mayor term, an unexpired council term and two full-term council seats. Mayor Sharon Biamon, who was appointed to the position following the resignation of Kevin Colman in 2019, has filed to run for the unexpired term. 

Meanwhile, Lucinda Schofield has filed to run for the unexpired council term which was left vacant following the resignation of Karla Denzin. That seat is currently held by Lyle Flansburg.

The two full-term council seats did not have anybody file before the May 29 deadline.

The 2020 Primary Election will be held on August 18, 2020. Look for the Saratoga Sun’s Primary Election Section on August 12.


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