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Some picks for the primary

Aug 21, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

If it's late August in an even-numbered year, then it must be primary election time -- when I always crawl out on a limb and start sawing as fast as I can in the form of my election predictions column.

Please, before becoming outraged, grab a dictionary and look up the difference between "prediction" and "preference." What follows is a summary of who I think will win, not necessarily who I want to win.

Riverton City Council, Ward 1 -- In Jonathan Faubion, Riverton has a bright new face interested in public service. In Diana Mahoney, we have a familiar face with a solid record of performance on the city council. Both will advance to the general election. I predict Mahoney will finish first Tuesday.

Riverton City Council, Ward 2 -- Three candidates vie for two spots, and all three have council experience. Sarah Kalbach and Lee Martinez both try to return to the council, while Todd Smith wants to hold onto his seat. Two will advance, and I predict those two will be Martinez and Smith.

Riverton City Council, Ward 3 -- Both Larry Bauman and Lars Baker, the incumbent, will advance. I'll pick Baker to run first.

Lander City Council -- I think Ken Stroh and Cade Maestas will run close in Ward 2, with Maestas having the edge. Both will advance. In Ward 1, where two of three will advance, look for Dan Hahn and John Boulette to be the finalists.

Shoshoni Town Council -- A field of six candidates will be narrowed to two. Shoshoni often is a tough town to call, but I think the two finalists will come from among Ken Cundall, Brandy Hague and Bill Marcus.

Fremont County Commission, District 2 -- Four candidates want Dennis Christensen's seat. If one strong candidate opposed him, Christensen might have a tougher time. He's a proven vote getter, and with three opponents, his core will carry him. Christensen to win, Larry Allen second.

Fremont County Commission, District 5 -- I'll believe Doug Thompson can lose an election in Fremont County when I see it. I doubt I'll be seeing it tonight.

Wyoming House, District 28 -- This is one of the newly drawn districts that scoops up part of Fremont County to the east but has no Fremont County candidates. Echo Renner and Nathan Winters got the most attention, and I'll nod toward Renner on the GOP side. the Democrats have fielded two strong candidates, both from Thermopolis. I'll flip the coin and pick Layba over Skates.

Wyoming House, District 33 -- Two Republicans want to challenge longtime incumbent Democrat Patrick Goggles in the fall. I give the edge in the primary to Jim Allen over Daniel Cardenas, who ran so strongly against Goggles two years ago. This could be a close one.

Wyoming House, District 34 -- First-term incumbent Rita Campbell is challenged by fellow septuagenarian Lois Herbst in this battle of rural Riverton grandmothers with strong Shoshoni ties as well. In a countywide vote of the old style, I would give the edge to Herbst, who has run by far the most visible campaign. But Campbell polled very well two years ago against a strong primary field in her district, and I think she can survive this challenge.

Wyoming House, District 54 -- In the race to replace retiring Del McOmie, both parties have fielded strong slates. I see the Republican vote coming to Eileen Oakley and Lloyd Larsen, with Oakley's name recognition form her years as county assessor giving her the edge. Don't be shocked if Larsen prevails, but if I had to bet a buck it would be on Oakley. For the Dems, my pick is Michelle Hoffman over Bruce Palmer, but there might not be more than a couple of dozen votes separating them.

U.S. Senate -- Which Democrat will win the honor of being slaughtered in November by Republican John Barrasso? I say it's Tim Chesnut (although the political spectator in me says it would be highly entertaining to see perennial loser Al Hamburg debate Sen. Barrasso). Chesnut to win.

We'll tally up and fess up later in the week. Remember to vote.

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