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Christensen claims CWC board seat
Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees candidates, from left, Judy Pedersen, Carlton Underwood and Heather Christensen were elected Tuesday. Pedersen is an incumbent. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Christensen claims CWC board seat; Welty re-election bid fails

Nov 7, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Voters gave incumbent Judy Pedersen another term on the Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees on Tuesday, but the Riverton woman said she wasn't completely happy in the result of the election.

"I'm disappointed Frank Welty wasn't re-elected," Pedersen said Wednesday morning. "I don't really look forward to another four years of being the only person that really looks at the issues."

Pedersen earned 4,564 votes in the race for the Subdistrict 2 spot on the CWC board. Challengers Nicole Schoening, Tim Payne and Chris Smolik won 3,505 votes, 3,039 votes and 1,328 votes, respectively.

Incumbent Welty did not fare as well Tuesday, losing his Subdistrict 1 spot to Heather Christensen. She saw 6,515 ballots cast in her favor, while 2,607 people voted for Welty. Kari Griebel got 3,942 votes.

Christensen said she wasn't expecting such an "outpouring of support."

"I'm certainly overwhelmingly thankful," she said Wednesday. "I truly do appreciate that."

She said she experienced mixed emotions Tuesday when she heard she had won.

"I know it's a daunting task," Christensen said of board membership. "But I'm anxious to get started on it. I'm really looking forward to working with the college board."

She said she plans to research local issues and speak with fellow board members and constituents before she officially takes her seat. Christensen said her first board meeting is scheduled for the day after she undergoes hip replacement surgery.

"I'll be getting out the hospital the day before," she said. "I hope I can make the meeting ... probably on a walker."

As representative for Subdistrict 3, Carlton Underwood will be another new face on the CWC board. He earned 6,172 votes Tuesday compared to David Snyder's 5,596.

Pedersen said she hopes Underwood and Christensen will "really look at the issues" when they take office. She thinks county residents voted for her Tuesday because they appreciate the stance she has taken during previous board discussions.

"It's kind of a validation about how I've voted and acted while I was on the board these last four years," she said. "I just need to stay on top of things, read the materials and stay educated about the issues."

She said she will continue to listen to voters and taxpayers who support the college financially.

"You have to make sure you're making your money go to the most important issues," Pedersen said. "(You have to) keep your priority to the students and not just building up an institution. That's not what the kids need to be educated."

Pedersen thanked residents for their continued support, offering an open ear if people want to talk to her about topics related to CWC.

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