A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

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 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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