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Election Season Not Over Yet in Fremont Co.

November 8, 2010

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Wyomingites may have thought election season was over last week, but it isn't, at least not in Fremont County. A Special Commissioners' Primary is set for November 16, and voters can meet candidates in person and ask questions during forums Tuesday in Ft. Washakie and Wednesday in Riverton.

The Wyoming Conservation Voters Education Fund is coordinating the events and encouraging voters to remember to cast their ballots. The group's executive director, Kathleen Wright, says issues related to the area's rural way of life are at stake.

"The voters deserve to know where each of the candidates stands on environmental stewardship and policy issues, and to hear a broader discussion of these issues that are so important to us."

The special election was ordered by a federal judge who ruled that the county's long-standing process of electing commissioners at large violated the Voting Rights Act, specifically violating rights of Native American residents.

Wright says the unusual situation leading to this special election can be seen as a benefit, because it's an opportunity to shine a light on the environment and wildlife that make up the character of the country. She notes that the commission's history of decisions on those topics has been controversial.

"In 2002, the Fremont County Commission passed a resolution barring the existence, introduction, and reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies within Fremont County."

The Fremont County Commission General Election will be January 18.

Ft. Washakie candidate forum will be 6 to 9 p.m., Rocky Mountain Hall, 19 North Fork Road. Riverton candidate forum will be 6 to 9 p.m., James H. Moore Career Center, 851 College View Drive.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY