State Senate fight brewing in Casper

2012-06-02T10:00:00Z 2012-08-21T23:07:08Z State Senate fight brewing in CasperBy JEREMY PELZER Star-Tribune capital bureau with staff reports Casper Star-Tribune Online

Kim Holloway, whose liberal stances as a Casper city councilwoman have won her conservative scorn, filed paperwork Friday to run as a Democrat for state Senate District 28.

She’ll face the winner of a three-way Republican primary for the seat between incumbent state Sen. Kit Jennings, R-Casper; former Natrona County Republican Party chairman Jim Anderson; and Casper-Natrona County Board of Health member Tom Radosevich.

Holloway, 42, recently left her job as manager of the Poverty Resistance Thrift Shop in north Casper to work on a communications degree from the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center. She said she’s running for office because Jennings “doesn’t do a good job” of representing the district.

“It certainly seems like he’s in it for his own personal and financial gain,” she said, pointing to Jennings’ work as a federal lobbyist for an experimental energy company. Earlier this year, Jennings introduced legislation that would benefit the company but withdrew it amid opposition from the oil and gas industry.

Jennings has said he wouldn’t have personally benefited from the legislation, got a go-ahead from legislative staffers before taking the lobbying job, and planned to abstain from any vote on the bill.

If elected, Holloway said she would work to erase proposed 8 percent budget cuts for the University of Wyoming. Holloway said doing that could involve revenue increases, though she offered no specific proposals other than perhaps a cigarette tax hike.

Jennings, a 59-year-old Casper businessman and an outspoken conservative, has pointed to his work in the Senate to create jobs and help Wyoming businesses. He said Friday that he welcomed Holloway’s entry into the race, even though they think differently on almost every issue.

“It’s an excellent way to get the views on the table,” Jennings said. “When you think about it, this whole job is about the discussion and the debate.”

Anderson, 63, is a retired director of product support for Wyoming Machinery, a company that won a $1.5 million judgment against Jennings in 2010.

He has said he’s running because he’s wanted to serve in the state Senate since the 1960s, when he struck up a conversation with two brothers from Kaycee, Lee and Leon Keith, who had served in the state House.

If elected, he said, he would work to promote Wyoming’s core industries: oil, gas, mining, agriculture and tourism. Anderson didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Radosevich, a Rock Springs native, is a clinical assistant professor with the University of Wyoming Family Medicine Residency Program in Casper. He also didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. But as a board of health member, he has opposed a workplace smoking ban, saying it didn’t constitute the significant, imminent public health threat needed for the board to act.

He also said in February that the new federal health care law is too complicated, though he said that some parts of the law — expanded care, limits on exclusions for pre-existing conditions and more emphasis on prevention — are opportunities.

City, county contests

Holloway’s decision to seek the Senate seat means both seats in Casper’s Ward 1 that will appear on the November ballot will be open.

City Councilwoman Kate Sarosy, the other Ward 1 representative whose term expires this year, opted not to seek re-election.

Five candidates had filed for the two seats when the campaign filing period ended Friday.

Bob Hopkins of Beech Street, who unsuccessfully sought a seat on the council two years ago, Erik J. Aune of Lincoln Street and Garry Yake of Ash Street joined Daniel Sandoval and Tim Hamre in running for the open seats.

In Ward 2, the number of candidates for two seats remained the same Friday, but the names changed a little, as one candidate entered the race and another withdrew.

Sheila “Shey” Charter of Daffodil Street filed paperwork to seek one of the seats currently held by Bill Brauer and Charlie Powell, both of whom will appear on the Aug. 21 primary ballot along with challengers Gregory Flesvig, Craig P. Hedquist and Janel Moore. A seventh candidate, Steve Bray, who had entered the race Tuesday, withdrew from the contest, opting instead to challenge Rep. Steve Harshman in a Republican primary in House District 37.

In Ward 3, Stephen Cathey of Cornwall Street became the fourth candidate to seek the seat held by Maury Daubin, who is not seeking re-election. Andrew D. Hettinger of Nottingham Drive, a drilling inspector for the state, entered the race Thursday, joining Frank Robinson and Cordell Wistisen.

The top four vote-getters in wards 1 and 2 and the top two vote-getters in Ward 3 will advance to the November general election.

City Council races are nonpartisan.

No new names surfaced Friday in the crowded field seeking a seat on the Natrona County Commission, but a ninth candidate on Thursday entered the scramble for two GOP nominations.

Robert Crosby, 56, of Chestnut Street in Casper, will join a GOP field that includes incumbents Ed Opella and Matt Keating and challengers Forrest Chadwick, Julie Collins, Brian DeVault, Lance Lyon, Leo Sanchez and Bruce Young. The top two vote-getters in the Aug. 21 primary will move on to the November general election.

Crosby, a welder, will make his second try for a seat on the commission. He ran for the post in 2004 but lost in the Republican primary to Keating and then-incumbent Jon Campbell.

Contact capital bureau reporter Jeremy Pelzer at 307-632-1244 or jeremy.pelzer@trib.com.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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