Defeated Laramie County Candidate Says He’s Not Going Away
M. Lee Hasenauer may have failed to win a seat on the Laramie County Commission in three consecutive elections, but that doesn't mean he won't be active on the local political scene.
Hasenauer said Wednesday that doesn't necessarily mean running for political office again, adding ''never say never." But he said he definitely wants to work to address what he sees as the problem of Democrats voting in Republican Party primaries.
Hasenauer, who has long been active in the Laramie County Republican Party, said one possible solution might be a runoff election between the top two finishers in a race. In Tuesday's GOP gubernatorial primary, for example, that would have meant Mark Gordon, who got a plurality of the votes and won the nomination, would have faced a runoff against the second place finisher, Foster Friess of Jackson.
Hasenauer said that would eliminate the problem of candidates splitting the conservative vote while a political moderate wins the nomination because of a lack of competition for moderate votes in a primary election.
Some conservatives are saying Gordon owes his victory on Tuesday to Democrats who crossed over to the Republican primary to cast ballots for Gordon.
Hasenauer was elected to a two-year term on the Laramie County Commission in 2012. But he ran again in 2014, 2016 and 2018, falling short each time.
He finished fourth in Tuesday's GOP primary, garnering about 15 percent of the vote. With three seats open on the commission, incumbents Troy Thompson and Linda Heath, as well as local realtor Gunnar Malm, garnered the three Republican nominations for the commission.
Former Wyoming legislator Lee Filer was the only Democratic candidate for the commission in Tuesday's primary election and will battle Thompson, Heath, and Malm for one of the three open seats in the November general election.