After running unopposed in the primary, Republican Rachel Rodriguez-Williams held off challenger Cindy Johnson Bennett, an independent, to win the State House District 50 seat.
Rodriguez-Williams won with 77.62% of the vote (4,370 votes) to 22.02% (1,240) for Bennett.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m pleased with the results, the votes I received from the voters in District 50.
“I’m confident I can serve them well, take my honesty, integrity and all of the other values I have to Cheyenne.”
Rodriguez-Williams ran as a conservative to represent a district that includes some of east Cody and much of rural Cody and western Powell outside city limits.
She said she had to alter her strategy for the general election after running unopposed in the primary when Bennett filed.
“It made it a little more exciting,” she said. “I commend my opponent, Cindy, for putting her name on the ballot.”
Rodriguez-Williams has been a member of various community-based, civic organizations and social programs within Park County and is a proponent of the state motto “Equal Rights.”
Since 2014, Rodriguez-Williams has served on the board of directors for the Park County Republican Women. Since 2015, she has also served on the Powell Economic Partnership Advisory Board.
She also serves as a committeewoman for the Park County Republican Party.
Beyond that, she’s involved in 4-H events and supports local youth hockey – she and her husband are a Yellowstone Quake billet family. She’s a member of Wyoming Outdoorsmen, executive director for the nonprofit Serenity Pregnancy Center, and a small-business owner.
She has a master of science degree in Criminal Justice Administration and served as a police officer for about a decade. She is a supporter of the NRA and is also pro-life.
She said amongst local issues in Park County, she’s concerned with the growing mental illness and substance abuse cases.
Bennett, 63, grew up in Cody and graduated from Cody High School in 1976.
A photographer and artist, Bennett works out of her studio in the Sage Creek area. She holds a bachelor’s in English literature and a bachelor’s and master’s in fine art. After moving back to Cody in 2010, she’s taught English as a second language and also served as a case manager for people with special needs throughout the Big Horn Basin.
Meeteetse state races
Republican Ed Cooper cruised to a win in Senate District 20, which covers Meeteetse, with 7,495 votes to 1,293 for Democrat Theresa Livingston.
In State House District 28, incumbent Republican John Winter defeated challenger Levi Shinkle, 3,767-816.
Many races that were only contested in the primary were officially decided Tuesday.
Tim French (R-Powell) is headed to Cheyenne early next year representing Senate District 18, Sandy Newsome (R-Cody) is returning for a second term representing House District 24 and Jim Anderson will represent House District 28.
The Cody City Council races were similarly not in doubt Tuesday, with Mayor Matt Hall and council member Jerry Fritz (Ward 2) retaining their positions, and newcomers Emily Swett (Ward 3) and Andy Quick (Ward 1) winning their seats.
Hall nonetheless had billboards put up in town to spend money he had been given for his reelection, and said recently he was grateful people were supporting him to continue as mayor.
The Park County Commissioners likewise was decided in the Republican primary. Tuesday, the reelection of Lee Livingston and election of former Powell mayor Scott Mangold were finalized.