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Miller turns back Shelley challenge
Wyoming House District 55 opponents Sherry Shelley, left, and Dave Miller spoke with supporters Tuesday night as election returns were reported to The Ranger newsroom. Miller, a Republican, retained his legislative seat. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Miller turns back Shelley challenge

Nov 7, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

House District 55 Rep. Dave Miller, R-Riverton, will serve his seventh term in the Wyoming Legislature this year, having earned 2,374 votes Tuesday to Democratic challenger Sherry Shelley's 1,473.

With a strong Republican contingency in the district, Miller knew it would be difficult for Shelley to unseat him, but on Wednesday he said he was impressed with her efforts on the campaign.

"It takes a lot of courage and bravery to throw your hat in the ring like that," Miller said. "I thought it was going to maybe be a bit closer. ... I know Sherry worked hard."

The two spoke Tuesday before local votes had been tallied, and Miller said he offered to help in any way possible if Shelley got elected.

"She congratulated me later in the evening," Miller said.

Libertarian candidate Bethany Baldes, who garnered 227 votes in the HD 55 race, also approached Miller after learning he had won. He said he is glad the women decided to run against him.

"It's good to have opponents," Miller said. "I don't feel good when I'm unopposed. ... It's not an entitled spot for Dave Miller; it belongs to the community. The folks need to make that decision."

Miller thanked residents for their support. He plans to continue the work he has started in the Wyoming Legislature, with even more emphasis on protecting the state's tax base.

"There is pretty much an announced attack on our coal industry here in Wyoming," Miller said. "That's going to affect our revenue stream. I'm going to defend that as much as I can and try to come up with some other ideas how we can maintain our Wyoming tax base."

Shelley said she felt good about the opportunity she had to grow personally while learning more about her city and state. She knew election was a "long shot" for her, but she said the experience was worthwhile.

"I met and listened to so many people," Sherry said. "I just so deeply appreciate the confidence in me and the optimism and hope for Wyoming's future that so many people expressed."

She plans to turn her efforts back to her community activities, as well as her job and her family, and Shelley said she doesn't have plans to run for office again.

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