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‘Gentleman Jim’ Geringer Returns Wyoming Governor’s Office To GOP

November 9, 1994

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) _ The most worrisome time on the campaign trail for Jim Geringer may have come last summer when a devastating hailstorm hit his eastern Wyoming farm.

Days before the Aug. 16 primary, Geringer had to take time off from the campaign circuit to salvage what he could of his sugar beet and grain crops. But with help from neighbors, he got back into the race.

On Tuesday, Geringer brought in the political harvest, defeating Secretary of State Kathy Karpan and returning the governor’s office to Republican hands for the first time in 20 years. Incumbent Gov. Mike Sullivan ran, unsuccessfully, for the U.S. Senate.

Geringer, a tall, easygoing farmer known as ″Gentleman Jim,″ served 12 years in the state Legislature, winning a reputation as someone who could work with both Republicans and Democrats, particularly on agricultural issues.

″It’s always been my ambition to instill trust back in the political process and that’s the kind of appeal that goes beyond the label of conservative or moderate,″ he said.

During the campaign, Geringer called for more jobs to keep the state’s younger residents from leaving. He said the best way to do that was by resisting federal efforts to restrict the way Wyoming residents may use their land.

Geringer, 50, also cited his experience as a farmer, legislator and former Air Force officer. He said his Democratic opponent was just looking to change jobs while he was looking to serve the public.

″I have a much broader view of what government is and what it could be,″ he said.

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