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Nicholas and Alexander face off in primary for Albany County seat

In Albany County, Republican Phil Nicholas is the incumbent for Senate District 10, but will need to win a primary election if he wants to return to the state legislature.  Nicholas is in line to become the Senate majority floor leader if he wins his re-election.  His Republican primary opponent is Anne Alexander, who’s an economics professor at University of Wyoming.

Nicholas says he is dedicated to capital construction projects, like UW’s new engineering building and a new home for Laramie High School. He says a focus of his has been – and will continue to be – getting state money to Albany County, which lacks income from mineral resources.   

“Important for Albany County, Laramie and our communities, is the continuation and maintenance of the hardship distribution funding," Nicholas said. "It is designed for those communities that have low assessed valuation and really don’t have any opportunity to increase their local revenues above that which they’ve already maximized.”

Alexander also says construction is key to staying competitive as a state. But she thinks there’s more the county could do to generate revenue.

“In this county we have so much human capital," she said. "Because the University is here we have a pretty huge concentration of folks who have college degrees and even higher. So therefore I think we can play to that strength in looking at things like technology and engineering companies, information technology companies.” 

Alexander has served on the local hospital board, but this is her first run for a legislative seat. As for her inexperience, Alexander says she’s a quick study and constituents may benefit from a fresh perspective. The primary election is August 21st.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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