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Nine in for town race
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: June 2, 2012
Two last-day entries brought the number of people vying for two open town council seats to nine.
Jackson Mayor Mark Barron, however, did not draw a challenger in his run for a sixth two-year term.
The primary election filing deadline for town, county and state candidates ended 5 p.m. Friday. Council candidates Emy diGrippa and Steve Harrington were the final two to file.
Primary elections Aug. 21 will narrow the field of councilor candidates to four. The two candidates receiving the most votes at the general elections Nov. 6 will win the two open seats.
No new candidates entered the Teton County Board of Commissioners race Friday.
DiGrippa, a political newcomer but 10-year Jackson resident, said she would add needed perspective to the council.
“I’m a working mom with a diverse background,” diGrippa said. “I believe the town council should represent the face of the people that live and work in Jackson.”
She believes development in town can be done thoughtfully, but is ready to hear what to constituents have to say.
“I think it’s a matter of listening and talking,” diGrippa said of turning the vision in the new comprehensive landuse plan into regulations.
DiGrippa, 51, also said she is passionate about Jackson and issues ranging from arts to culture to conservation.
In 2002, she came to Jackson and served as the director of sales and marketing for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. She is now an outreach officer for the Wyoming Humanities Council.
DiGrippa moved to Jackson from Colorado to raise her son, who is in ninth grade, in a family friendly community.
Steve Harrington, who once held a seat on town council, filed at the last minute Friday and was not available for comment.
Although Barron was the only candidate to file for mayor, he could face a challenger.
“Anybody could jump into the race at any time,” Barron said of the potential for someone mounting a write-in candidacy in the primary.
If a write-in candidate garners at least 25 votes in the primary, he or she would have the option of competing in the general election against Barron.
If the person declines to enter the race, Barron would be the only name on the 2012 general ballot.
Barron said he is proud that the town has continued to deliver quality services as tax revenues have declined.
“Our role is to keep the community spotless and to encourage the business community in terms of having a fun, funky downtown area,” he said.
In Barron’s last bid for mayor, he beat challenger Franz Camenzind by 689 votes.