Kinskey Chosen to Fill Schiffer Senate Seat

Sheridan County Commissioner Tom Ringley congratulates Mayor Dave Kinskey after the vote. (Photo by Leslie Stratmoen)
Sheridan County Commissioner Tom Ringley congratulates Mayor Dave Kinskey after the vote. (Photo by Leslie Stratmoen)

In what has been referred to as an historic vote by those involved, Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey was chosen this morning to fill the Wyoming state senate seat left open by the death of John Schiffer.

Schiffer, who was a Republican, from Kaycee, died suddenly last month after serving the state as a legislator for more than two decades.

As per state statute that no one can hold two public offices, simultaneously, Kinskey said he would spend the next few days working with city staff, then go to work as a senator.

All eight commissioners, five from Sheridan County and three from Johnson County, cast their vote on private ballots. Of the three finalists, Kinskey received just over 67 percent of the vote, Ryan Wright received 21 and a half percent and James Gampetro a little over 10 percent. Wright and Gampetro are both from Johnson County.

Though the individual votes were not made public, the percentages were. So, according to the percentage breakdowns, all three of the Johnson County Commissioners voted for Kinskey, along with two from Sheridan County. The remaining three Sheridan County Commissioners voted for the Johnson County candidates – two for Wright and one for Gampetro.

The breakdown of voting percentages was figured on the population. With 53.9 percent coming from Sheridan County and 46.1 percent from Johnson County, that meant a Sheridan County commissioner's vote was worth 10.78 percent and Johnson County's 15.36. So, Gampetro's 10 percent, plus, could only come from a Sheridan County commissioner. Figuring in the same fashion, three Johnson County votes for Kinskey tallied 46.08, and Sheridan County's two 10.78 percents equaling 21.56 comes to just over 67 percent.

To hear the portion of the meeting where the vote was taken, click here.

To listen to the interview with Kinskey, following the vote, click here.

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