Town Council race gets more crowded
Five seek town seats but less interest in county, state races.
By Noah Brenner and Cara Froedge, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: May 28, 2008
With three days before the deadline, three more Jackson residents have filed to run for two open seats on the Jackson Town Council, bringing the total to five.
The slate now contains incumbent Mark Obringer, current Jackson Planning Commissioner Greg Miles, Kyle Burson, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in 2006, Matt Carr and Tommy Wood.
Wood, 29, has lived in Jackson for the past two years working with nonprofit groups, most recently as director of programs for the Community Resource Center. Wood will run on a platform of increasing access to affordable rentals, encouraging green building practices and addressing the valley’s child-care shortage.
“I want to see Jackson thrive, and at the current state of events, I feel like we are going to lose our work force and middle class,” he said. “Between my wife and I last tax year, we worked six jobs between the two of us, and that is the plight of the work force here. But we are committed to it and love it and want to stay.”
Wood kicked off his campaign Sunday night with a block party and said the response has been positive.
“Basically everybody was a renter and works multiple jobs to stay in the valley and they thought they needed some representation,” he said.
The same enthusiasm has not carried over into other races.
In the mayor’s race, Jackson Mayor Mark Barron is currently unopposed.
Four men are running for two county commission seats. They are commission Chairman Andy Schwartz, incumbent Leland Christensen, former town Planning Director Brian Grubb and real estate agent Dennis Triano.
State Rep. Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, has filed to seek the seat of Sen. Pat Aullman, R-Thayne, who will not run for a second term representing Senate District 16, which includes northern Sublette County, much of Lincoln County and Wilson.
Also unopposed is Rep. Keith Gingery, R-Jackson, who filed to seek a third term representing House District 23, which includes much of Jackson.
Rep. Pete Jorgensen, D-Jackson, has filed to run for a fourth term in House District 16. Republican Joe Schloss of Jackson filed to challenge him.
No Republican has filed to seek the seat of Rep. Monte Olsen, R-Daniel, representing House District 22, which includes northern Sublette County, Alpine, Hoback Junction and Wilson. Big Sandy builder and Wilson resident Jim Roscoe has committed to run as a Democrat.
Nationally, the entire Wyoming delegation is up for election. U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin announced she will not seek an eighth term. Wilson Democrat Gary Trauner announced in October he would try for the second consecutive election to win the seat.
Michael Holland of Green River, Bill Winney of Bondurant and Cynthia Lummis of Cheyenne have filed to run as Republicans, while W. David Herbert has filed to run as a Libertarian.
U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi has filed to seek re-election to a third term in the Senate. Democrats Chris Rothfuss and Al Hamburg have filed run for the seat as well.
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, who was appointed to the Senate after the death of U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, has filed to run. Democrats Nick Carter of Gillette and Keith Goodenough of Casper will seek to challenge him.
Filing closes at 5 p.m. on Friday. Candidates must have their original application and fee filed by the close of the business day in the secretary of state’s office or county clerk’s office, depending on the seat being sought.
The list of state candidates who have filed will be posted on the secretary of state’s Web site, http://soswy.state.wy.us, and local candidates on the county Web site, www.tetonwyo.org, at the close of each day.