Candidates will appear at GOP forums

Hannah Gross, NLJ Correspondent

The Weston County Republican Party is hosting Republican candidate forums at the Newcastle Lodge and Convention Center on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. throughout the summer in preparation for the Aug. 16 primary election. 

Chairwoman Kari Drost said the basic format for the forum has the candidates first sharing a brief introduction, but then the floor will be given over to the public to ask whatever questions they would like. 

“In my personal opinion, meeting a candidate in person and speaking to them face to face has an impact,” she said. “I believe it’s a lot more effective.”

To kick things off, the community is invited to meet Wyoming House of Representative candidates Allen Slagle and JD Williams and Senate Dist. No. 1 candidates Roger Connett, Ogden Driskill and Bill Fortner on June 14. 

The following Tuesday will again see House candidate Slagle, as well as Senate Dist. No. 3 candidates Cheri Steinmetz and Marty Ertman. The gubernatorial candidates are scheduled for June 28, and Brent Bien confirmed his attendance, but the response of the other candidates is pending. 

The Weston County Commission candidates are invited to the forum on July 5 and 19. Drost said Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Tom Kelly and Megan Degenfelder will make an appearance on July 12, but noted that an invitation is extended to all who are seeking that office. Candidates for the rest of the Weston County elected officials, which includes the sheriff, clerk, clerk of the court, coroner, treasurer and assessor, are slotted to assemble at the July 26 forum.

The invitation for the final forum on Aug. 2 will be reserved for the statewide elected officials. All candidates for secretary of state, state treasurer and state auditor are invited, but only secretary of state candidate Chuck Gray has confirmed at this point. 

“We hope you will take the opportunity to attend these meetings and meet the candidates. If you are voting early by absentee ballot, we hope you will hold off returning your ballots until you have had time to meet as many candidates as possible,” an email from the Weston County Republican Party Executive Committee proclaimed. 

Drost said some of the forums will be covered by KASL radio for those unable to attend. She will have some debate questions ready for the candidates, and the public can also email questions to


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