Wyoming political parties attempt to come together following bruising campaigns

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CHEYENNE, WY (Gray DC) - Cowboy State candidates are turning their focus to November after hard fought primary campaigns. Now that the inner-party drama is over, the political parties will regroup and take aim at the other side of the aisle.

“Wyoming’s always had a difficult time uniting after a primary,” said Jared Olsen, a Republican State Representative and vice chair of the Wyoming Republican Party.

He says following primary campaigns that bore attack ads and historic spending, Republican candidates need to appeal to all corners of the state to be successful in the general election.

“Our true political divisions exist within our party,” said Olsen.

Olsen says it’s a relief to see Republican candidates like Foster Friess were unsuccessful in buying their way into office. Olsen prefers gubernatorial candidates like Mark Gordon on the ticket, who he says worked his way up in the state system.

“The voters are looking for having somebody who can work with both houses to get solutions accomplished to get things done,” said Olsen.

Gordon spent his fair share of personal cash in the primaries. He’s hoping to spend less as he faces off against Democrat Mary Throne. Throne says it is going to take a grassroots campaign with a focus on energy policy and fixing the state’s budget deficit to defeat the money-flush GOP.

“I don’t have a couple million sitting in my piggy bank to spend in this race, but we won’t be outworked,” said Throne.

Throne says history is on her side, with the Governor’s Mansion switching parties over the last four governorships. Wyoming Dems’ spokesperson Nina Hebert says she feels great about Throne’s chances, and the chances of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Gary Trauner. He is trying to dethrone the high-ranking Republican Senator John Barrasso (R-WY).

“(Trauner) is not going to get to Washington and forget where he came from or refuse to come back and hold town halls and listen to the voters,” said Hebert.

In some primary races Republicans out-voted Democrats almost seven to one. The Democratic Party says they hope it will not be as lopsided come November 6, the date of the general election.