Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media
Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media

It's no secret that Wyoming is a heavily Republican state and the candidate filings for the 2022 primary election with the Wyoming Secretary of State's office don't do anything to dispel that image.

While candidates still have through Friday to file to run for state office in the Cowboy State, a check of the candidates who have formally filed so far is decidedly lopsided in terms of partisan affiliation.

Of the five statewide elected offices, all of which are on the ballot this year, only one Democrat has formally filed. Sergio Maldonado of Lander has filed to run as a Democrat for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The other statewide offices--governor, treasurer, secretary of state,  and state auditor--all officially have at least one GOP candidate, and three Republicans have filed for State Superintendent.

While Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon will have all of the advantages of incumbency as he runs for a second term, that hasn't stopped three other candidates from filing to run against him in the August 16 primary election. Brent Bien, Rex Rammel, and James Scott Quick all say they running against Gordon.

But no Democrats had joined that race as of Monday morning.

Interestingly, while Wyoming has not sent a Democrat to Congress since Teno Roncalio of Rock Springs was elected in 1976, the state has over that time been more amenable to Democratic gubernatorial candidates, with Ed Herschler, Mike Sullivan, and Dave Freudenthal all winning multiple terms in the governor's office.

Perhaps the state's most closely watched race in 2022 will be the state's lone congressional seat where incumbent Liz Cheney has incurred the wrath of former President Donald Trump and his loyalists. But while Cheney and the Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman of Cheyenne have both been actively raising money and are widely expected to run, as of Monday morning only state Senator Anthony Bouchard of Cheyenne--who on Facebook has called Cheney and Hageman "BFFs"--had formally filed.

No Democrats have, as of yet, jumped into the congressional race. But at least one third-party candidate is running. Marrissa Joy Selvig of Riverton was nominated for congress by the Constitution Party at its April convention.

Because she is not running for the nomination of either of the major parties on their primary election day on April 16, Selvig does not have to file for the primary.

A quick scan of the party registration figures for Wyoming shows the uphill battle that Democrats face in getting elected in the Cowboy State. Republicans hold an overall registration advantage of 196,888 to 45,095.

Teton County is the only county with more Democrats registered to vote than Republicans, and that margin is less than 300 voters.

Albany County, home of the University of Wyoming and widely perceived as a Democratic stronghold in fact has more registered Republicans than Democrats by more than 2,000 voters.

Perhaps the best example of the modern GOP dominance of Wyoming can be seen in Sweetwater County. That county was as recently as the late 1980s and into the early 90s heavily Democratic, due in large part to the historical alliance between the Democratic Party and the labor unions to which many miners in the county's trona and coal industries belonged.

Sweetwater County electing Republicans to the legislature was at one time extremely rare, and as recently as 2010 Democrats held a narrow majority among registered voters there.

But in 2022, the county sent only one Democrat to the Wyoming Legislature, Chad Banks of Green River. And Republican voters now outnumber Democrats in Sweetwater County by 11,044 to 3,526.


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