BREAKING: Teton County Gets its Bern on

By on April 9, 2016

Teton County will send 9 delegates to Cheyenne in support of Bernie Sanders for president, the remaining 6 delegates go to Hillary Clinton.

62 percent of registered Democrats cast their ballot for Bernie Sanders.

62 percent of registered Democrats cast their ballot for Bernie Sanders. (Photo: Jake Nichols)

Jackson Hole, WY – The expected monster turnout for the Democratic county caucus tripped turnstiles at 590 attendees. The meeting room at the Senior Center legally holds 200. At 10:30 a.m., a half-hour before voting cutoff, a line snaked down the hall from the election room, through two other meeting spaces, and out the door into the parking lot. In total, 954 people participated in the caucus, including the 384 surrogate votes tallied.

Enthusiasm from a heated national race for presidential candidacy spilled over into Jackson. The large crowd was vociferous in its support for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, occasionally catcalling delegate speeches for Hillary Clinton.

Eighteen-year-old Bella Wood topped all delegates with an overwhelming percent of the votes to lead the brigade of Sanders delegates in Cheyenne for the state Democratic convention on May 28. Wood said she would be well-served by her four years as a member of the championship high school speech and debate team where she excelled in the political forum.

The final tally was 589 registered Democrats voting for Sanders, 364 for Clinton. That equates to Sanders winning nine of the 15 delegate votes from Teton County. Clinton scored the remaining six. Sanders’ win in Teton County mirrored voter preferences across the state. Sanders clinched the Cowboy State’s caucus with 56 percent of votes.

The line to vote for the Democratic caucus extended through the parking lot and into the street.

The line to vote for the Democratic caucus extended through the parking lot and into the street. (Photo: Jake Nichols)

A few local politicians took the opportunity to announce their candidacy in upcoming local elections this summer/fall. Andy Schwartz pledged to rerun for a second term as representative from House District 23.

“Wow, this turnout is amazing. The Republican Party failed to get this many people by a significant margin,” Schwartz said. “I think it’s really important to take the energy in this room to make a difference at the state and county level. It’s politics to the max in Cheyenne, and you must have someone down there willing to get into the brawl. God knows I need more Democrats in Cheyenne.”

Longtime Jackson resident and former county commissioner Sandy Shuptrine announced she will make another run at the Board of County Commissioners (BCC).

“I was on a county commissioner from 1991 to 2001,” Shuptrine said. “I’m here to tell you I am ready, willing and able to serve again in the position of county commissioner.”

Current county commissioner Natalia Duncan Macker said she will seek a second term on the BCC. “In Wyoming, we have access to our local politicians and it’s time to say enough is enough,” she said. “The state keeps cutting programs like the Literacy Center that we all know works. If we don’t fight for our public lands, who will? And we need action in our community to create safe and stable housing for our workforce and our families. We need to keep cultural, generational and economic diversity. We have an opportunity to invest in our future. It’s awesome to see you all here today. Keep showing up. Our children are going to benefit from what we are doing today.”

Chris Christian, who has championed the legalization of Cannabis in Wyoming, vowed to challenge Marti Halverson’s stronghold in state Congress. She said she will run to oppose the longtime Republican for a House seat representing District 22.

“I’m not a politician. I don’t believe in lying to people. I want nothng to do with the money,” Christian said. “But [Halverson] has come out saying she wants to sell our public lands and denies there will be mining or fracking. ‘It will just be cattle range,’ she says. I’m completely opposed to that.”

Schwartz also took the opportunity to garner support for Ryan Greene, 33, of Rock Springs. Greene will run for Cynthia Lummis’ seat as a U.S. House Representative from Wyoming.

“He’s going to need a ton of help,” Schwartz said. “Ultimately, he will be running against Liz Cheney who, as a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, will not represent the people of Wyoming, I wouldn’t think.”

About Jake Nichols

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