CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Two top tea party organizers in Wyoming lost their bids for legislative seats as most state Senate and House incumbents fended off challengers in Tuesday's primary.
One of the few incumbents to lose was GOP Rep. Matt Teeters of Lingle. Teeters, chairman of the House Education Committee, co-authored the legislation that removed most of Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill's powers and made the office an appointed position. The state Supreme Court later ruled the move unconstitutional.
Teeters lost to insurance agent and rancher Cheri Steinmetz, of Lingle, by about 400 votes.
Three other incumbent Republicans, including one who was appointed to replace the late Rep. Sue Wallis, also lost.
While the tea party faction of the state Republican Party was particularly upset over the superintendent issue, that didn't necessarily translate into voters endorsing tea party candidates.
Bob Berry, a tea party leader in Park County, lost in his bid to unseat GOP incumbent Sam Krone.
Karl Allred, who helped spearhead moves to condemn Republicans who supported the superintendent changes, failed in his effort to unseat Sen. Paul Barnard of Evanston.
Entering Tuesday's primary, Republicans need not have worried about remaining the majority party in the Legislature.
Republicans currently hold a 52-8 advantage over Democrats in the Wyoming House and a 26-4 advantage in the Senate.
In the primary, 24 Republicans in both houses had no opponent in either the primary or general election.
Democrats fielded candidates for just 29 Senate and House seats out of a total of 75 seats up for election this year.