CHEYENNE — State Rep. Jim Roscoe, D-Wilson, is rafting in the Grand Canyon and may still not know his petition for re-election was rejected because it contained an incorrect home address.
State election officials and Democratic leaders tried without success to reach Roscoe by phone and text messages before Friday’s filing deadline.
Teton County Democratic Party Chairman Tom Frisbie said Roscoe won’t be available until his trip ends June 11.
“It’s sad because in Teton County we don’t have any Democrats right now running for the Legislature,” Frisbie said. “It’s too bad it had to happen that way.”
Roscoe is finishing his first term representing House District 22.
Roscoe filed his incorrect application on May 26, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported. State elections staff found the mistake May 28 and started trying to reach Roscoe immediately, state elections director Peggy Nighswonger said.
Roscoe listed his home address as being on West Indian Trails, Nighswonger said. State elections staff couldn’t find the street in an index of streets in Teton County.
Roscoe’s voter registration listed an address on West Bircher Road, Nighswonger said.
“We couldn’t accept his application,” she told the News & Guide.
Roscoe still could launch a write-in campaign to get on the November ballot as a Democrat. A write-in candidate needs only 25 people to write in his or her name during the primary to qualify for a spot on the general election ballot, according to state election law.
Roscoe could also run as an independent.
Independent candidates have to gather signatures to get on the general election ballot. Roscoe would need to collect the signatures of at least 2 percent of all of the registered voters in House District 16, which stretches from Wilson into Lincoln County.
Filing for independent candidates closes Aug. 27.
The required number of signatures is based on the number of voters registered on the day before the primary election, Nighswonger said.
The rejection of Roscoe’s petition means Etna Republican Marti Halverson is the only current candidate for the seat.
Meanwhile, Rep. Amy Edmonds, R-Cheyenne, said she won’t seek re-election so she can spend the next two years working on building unity among conservatives across Wyoming.
Edmonds said she will take a two-year hiatus from the Legislature after serving six years. She wants to expand the new political action committee called Conservative Republicans of Wyoming, or CROW, which seeks to unite the Republican Party under a “rigorously conservative” banner.
Edmonds is treasurer of CROW. Her husband, Harlan Edmonds, is state chairman.
“I’m going to stay involved in ways I can do more powerfully as a private person than I can as an elected person,” Amy Edmonds said Tuesday.
The new organization also has the goal of ridding the state’s majority party of “Republicans in name only,” or RINOs.
Amy Edmonds said reception of the new organization has been “phenomenal.”
“The emails and phone calls keep coming,” she said. “It’s grass roots, word of mouth. We want to spend the next two years working across the state, building the organization outside of Cheyenne.”
In other candidate filing news, Jerry Zellars, public information officer for the Wyoming Department of Education, is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for House District 11 in Cheyenne.
He will face incumbent Democrat Mary Throne in the November general election. Throne has served six years in the Wyoming House.
Zellars didn’t return a phone call and email seeking comment.