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Larsen wins election in HD54 to replace McOmie

Nov 8, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The next Wyoming House District 54 representative will be Lloyd Larsen after the Lander Republican resident secured nearly 57 percent of the votes cast in Tuesday's general election.

According to unofficial results with all 32 precincts reporting and absentee ballots counted, Larsen collected 2,784 (56.84 percent) of the 4,898 votes cast. Democratic candidate Bruce Palmer came in second place with 1,946 votes (39.73 percent), followed by Libertarian Ryan Jones with 161 votes (3.29 percent).

There were seven write-ins, according to the unofficial results.

"We would really like the community to know of our heartfelt gratitude and our appreciation in the support that they gave," Larsen said. "I am very honored and humbled and want them to know that they're the ones that elected me, and I have a responsibility to honor that."

Larsen will replace longtime state Rep. Del McOmie, R-Lander, who announced last spring he would step down from the post he held for 14 years.

Larsen and Palmer advanced to Tuesday's election after securing nominations for their respective parties in the August primary.

Larsen defeated GOP challengers Eileen Oakley and Andrew Gramlich with roughly 50 percent of votes cast. Palmer beat Michelle Hoffman with nearly 64 percent of votes cast.

Jones announced his candidacy after the primary election. He unsuccessfully ran for the HD 54 seat in 2010.

"Lloyd ran a great campaign," Palmer said, adding he called and congratulated Larsen on his win.

Palmer said it was an "incredible" process to run for state office.

"It's definitely one of the best things I have ever done," he said. "It's going to be a highlight."

Palmer noted the many people he met along the campaign trail and listening to the various issues.

Palmer will continue to serve on the Fremont County School District 1 Board of Education in Lander.

"We think Bruce was a very tough opponent, and he worked very hard and was out trying to get all the votes he could," Larsen said. "We were fortunate to have the support that we did."

Larsen said Lander was a wonderful community supportive of his campaign message.

He said support came from various groups including those in business, education, agriculture and energy.

"We couldn't be any more pleased in the broad bases of support we had in the election," Larsen continued. "We are grateful and honored to get to represent House District 54 and its people in our state government."

With the election over, Larsen said he plans to continue to learn about the job before the 60-day session begins in a few months.

"It will be important to hear from the people within the district concerning the issues that will be coming up," Larsen said.

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