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County had some of state's biggest primary spenders

Sep 23, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Larsen's $22K second-most in state

Only one person in Wyoming spent more money than Lloyd Larsen of Lander in the campaign for the Aug. 21 primary election.

The $22,469 spent by the Republican candidate on his bid for the Wyoming House District 54 GOP nomination was exceeded only by Marti Halverson of Etna, who spent $24,123 in her campaign for House District 22.

According to the report from the Wyoming Secretary of State's office, Larsen outspent both his Republican challengers, Andrew Gramlich and Eileen Oakley, by nearly $20,000.

Larsen will proceed to the Nov. 6 general election after he secured the GOP nomination with about 50 percent of the votes cast Aug. 21. Larsen spent nearly $23 for each of the 978 votes in his favor.

Contributors

Larsen's contributions totaled about $25,262. The largest, $11,000, came from his wife.

Other individual donations included $6,400 from John Larsen, $2,000 from the candidate, and $1,000 each from Brooke Sutton and Vince Irene, both of Lander, as well as the Wyoming Realtor political action committee of Casper.

Larsen reported that about $17,500 in expenditures went toward purchasing the blue and yellow campaign signs seen in the Lander area as well as buttons, pens and other items.

The remainder of the bill was for media and other advertisements.

Top 25

Larsen was not the only candidate in Fremont County races to appear on Wyoming's list of top 25 spenders for the 2012 primary election at the state House level.

Michelle Hoffman, who ran unsuccessfully for the HD 54 Democratic nomination, reported nearly $14,000 in receipts, putting her seventh on the list.

Ranked as the ninth top spender was Nathan Winters of Therm-opolis, who reported $11,745 in expenditures in his run for HD 28, which encompasses the Big Horn Basin and the Shoshoni and Lysite areas. Winters heads to the general election to face Democratic candidate Connie Skates, also of Thermopolis.

Lois Herbst claimed nearly $7,300 in receipts, putting her 19th on the list. The rural Shoshoni woman lost to Rep. Rita Campbell, R-Shoshoni, in the race for the GOP nomination for HD 34.

Twenty-fifth on the list was Echo Renner of Meeteetse, who spent about $5,832. Renner lost to Winters in her run for the HD 28 Republican nomination.

HD 54 spending

Gramlich, who collected more than 16 percent of votes cast, claimed his campaign's receipts totaled roughly $3,257. Contributions were reported to be $3,275. Gramlich donated $1,000 to his campaign.

Oakley, who garnered nearly 31 percent of votes in last month's election, claimed about $2,184 in receipts. According to the state report, about $2,574 was donated to the campaign fund, $2,084 of which came from Oakley.

Larsen's Democratic challenger in the November election, Bruce Palmer, claimed about $5,665 in receipts. Palmer reported $5,710 in contributions, $700 of which came from him. Palmer defeated Hoffman for the party's bid by garnering about 65 percent of the votes despite Hoffman's campaign chest bringing in nearly triple of what Palmer brought in. About a third of contributions made to Hoffman's campaign were from the candidate.

HD 33

Rep. Patrick Goggles, D-Ethete, didn't have a Democratic challenger in the primary election but still claimed $775 in expenditures. The HD 33 representative reported to the state that $2,100 was donated to his campaign, with $500 each coming from the Wyoming Education Association PAC for Education, United Transportation Union PAC and Steven Wiles, of Lander. Goggles also received $250 from Wyoming Rural Electric Association PAC.

Goggles's opponent in the November race will be Jim Allen of rural Lander, who defeated Daniel Cardenas of St. Stephen's, by nearly 80 percent in last month's election for the GOP nomination. Allen reported $495 in expenditures and $550 in contributions, $200 of which came from the Wyoming Stock Growers Agriculture PAC.

Neither Goggles nor Allen spent his own money on their campaigns.

Expenditure and contribution reports for Cardenas were unavailable.

HD 34

Herbst claimed $7,900 in contributions, $7,200 of which came from her own pocket. Campbell said she spent $4,868 to win last month's election, and she reported $400 in contributions. Half of the donations came from United Transportation Union PAC. The incumbent did not spend money on her campaign leading up to the primary election.

HD 55

Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, who will proceed to the November election with Democratic contender Sherry Shelley of Riverton, reported $232 in receipts and $500 in contributions.

Wyoming Rural Electric Association PAC donated half of the amount, Exxon Mobil PAC contributed $150, and Wyoming Mining Association PAC gave $100 to Miller's campaign.

Shelley reported nearly $1,300 in expenditures. Of the approximate $4,630 she claimed in contributions, about $458 was paid by the candidate.

Shelley received $500 each from United Transportation Union PAC, Kim and Wendy Wilbert of Riverton, and Nancy and Mark Sehnert of Riverton. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen of Cheyenne also gave $400 to Shelley's campaign.

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