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Kessler was top county spender in beating Hickerson

Dec 5, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The independent candidate who defeated incumbent Fremont County Commissioner Pat Hickerson in the Nov. 6 election was the top spender in the ...

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The independent candidate who defeated incumbent Fremont County Commissioner Pat Hickerson in the Nov. 6 election was the top spender in the field. Stephanie Kessler's successful campaign for the commission District 4 seat cost $8,189. According to financial reports from Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese's office, Kessler also received the most contributions in county races with a reported $8,519 in receipts. The figure includes $744 contributed by her and her immediate family. Ninety-one individuals donated the bulk of the money -- $7,455. Kessler reported $330 came from an in-kind donation. She received 1,894 votes in the Nov. 6 general election, defeating Pat Hickerson, a 10-year incumbent Republican, who collected 1,745 votes. District 4 primarily covers Lander and surrounding areas, including Hudson. The term lasts two years. Hickerson claimed $4,462 in expenditures and $6,150 in contributions. He reported that $2,750 came from 17 individual donors. Five Political Action Committees contributed another $2,350, including $1,000 from the Fremont County Republican Women's PAC. District 5 Fremont County Commission District 5 covers much of the county's southern portion including a section of Lander, Red Canyon, Atlantic City and Jeffrey City and a swath that stretches north to encompass east Riverton. Republican Doug Thompson, who won re-election to the Commission District 5 post, reported $5,657 in both receipts and expenditures. The candidate claimed that $32 came from his own pocket and 17 individuals donated $2,775 to his re-election campaign. Another $1,850 came from five PACs. Hickerson and Thompson each received $1,000 from the Fremont County Republican Party. Thompson defeated Independent challenger Nathan Maxon with 1,784 compared to Maxon's 1,258. Maxon filed $1,494 in both receipts and expenditures. According to his financial report, $494 came from the candidate and six individuals contributed the remaining funds. District 2 Commission District 2 candidate Larry Allen reported zero expenditures. He ran unopposed in the general election after winning in the primary by defeating incumbent Dennis Christensen. That race required a revote when ballot irregularities surfaced after the Aug. 21 primary won by Christensen won in a field of for. Allen won the second time around. The Citizens for Improved Roads PAC, which advocated for the 1 percent sales tax, filed $6,027 in both receipts and expenditures. A bulk of the contributions, $2,950, came from nine companies, organizations and associations. Twelve individuals, including Riverton mayor Ron Warpness, donated another $2,724. The HDR Inc. PAC of Omaha, Neb., also contributed $250 to the effort. Money from the tax, which goes into effect April 1, will be used for infrastructure in the county's six municipalities. The 1 percent sales tax measure passed with 8,390 residents voting in favor of it compared to the 8,055 against it.

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