Cody area residents may get a chance to reconsider one of their votes in 2016.
Sandy Newsome, a Cody Republican, recently announced she plans to run again for House District 24 — a seat currently held by Rep. Scott Court, R-Cody.
That means the coming Aug. 21 Republican primary election feature a rematch of the 2016 general election, where Court defeated Newsome and a Democratic candidate.
“I continue to think that I can do a good job,” Newsome said of her decision to run again. “I continue to think that I could be valuable in representing House District 24.”
She specifically cited her experience in tourism, having served on the Park County Travel Council for a couple decades and on the Wyoming Tourism Board from 2011 to 2017.
Newsome noted that the district includes not only the west part of the City of Cody, Wapiti and the North and South Fork areas, but also the northern half of Yellowstone National Park — a major destination for visitors.
“The tourism piece is a big deal,” Newsome said, adding that it’s “something that’s near and dear to my heart.”
Newsome and her husband, Bob, own several retail properties in Cody. They jointly owned Sunlight Sports from 1989 until its sale in 2010.
Beyond her tourism-related service, Newsome also serves on the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, the board of the economic development group Forward Cody and is treasurer of the Park County Republican Women.
Court hasn’t announced whether he’ll seek a second term in office.
“I haven’t even thought about re-election,” he said in a recent email.
Court noted he has until the end of the filing period on June 1 to make a decision and “if I decide to run, I don’t care if I have opposition or not,” he said.
The freshman lawmaker said he has confidence in his legislative experience, his Cody roots and his past work and education. That includes two years at Northwest College and a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming plus past work as an auditor for the state government and in human resources for Lowe’s in Cheyenne. He currently works as a gallery guard at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Court said he has one of the most conservative voting records in the Legislature and had perfect attendance this past budget session. He called the session “great” and productive.
“I voted on bills that will help Cody, Powell and this area,” he added.
Asked for her thoughts on Court’s performance over the past two years, Newsome said that’s not what her campaign is about.
“I’m not going to say anything bad about Scott [Court]. He went and he served and I’m not just going to comment on any of my feelings about his service,” she said. “I’m running because I think I can do a good job.”
Newsome has long been registered as a Republican, but — because she didn’t join the race until after the filing deadline for partisan candidates — she ran as an independent candidate in 2016.
Newsome decided to run in August 2016 after then-Rep. Sam Krone, R-Cody, was charged with embezzling money from the Park County Bar Association.
Court, who declared his candidacy during the filing period in May 2016, defeated Krone in a landslide in the August primary. He then picked up 2,254 votes to trump Newsome (1,421 votes) and Democrat Paul Fees (1,196) in November’s general election.
Although she came up short, “I was very encouraged that I got that many votes kind of getting in later in the game,” Newsome said. “But this time I’ll run as a Republican — which has been my affiliation for the last 35 years — so I think that’s one of the keys to winning here.”