House District 31 Republican candidate John Bear will move on to the general election Nov. 3.
Bear beat former Campbell County Commissioner Micky Shober by nearly a 4-to-1 ratio, 1,337 votes to 461 votes, according to unofficial results of Tuesday's Campbell County primary election.
“I am ecstatic,” Bear said. “This is quite a night. I hadn’t won an election since high school. I’m quite pleased and I feel very confident the voters of House District 31 will be pleased.
“I am committed to legislating just like I campaigned and keeping the promises I made when I went door-to-door.”
Bear said the results came in slowly, but he was pleased with how the process went.
"It was just in the hands of the voters and the good Lord," he said. "I wasn't apprehensive. The voters voted how I anticipated they would based on their conservatism and that's what I anticipated."
Bear was celebrating with his volunteers at home when he learned of the election results while his opponent was enjoying a beverage at the Axe House.
"It's disappointing because all you can do is listen to the results," Shober said. “It isn’t what I expected it to be, but it is what it is. I did what I can do to change people’s thoughts and opinions and didn’t get it done.”
Shober said he thought he ran a successful campaign, but “the people have spoken.”
“I think Shober is a good adversary and I wish him all the luck in the world going forward,” Bear said.
Bear will move on to the November general election ballot, where he's unopposed to replace state Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette, who announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election so he can focus on his faith and family.
No one put their names in for the Democrat race, which means that unless there is a significant write-in campaign, Bear is likely to be elected as the new House District 31 representative.
"I think those people that haven't been elected in office before got a big learning curve ahead of them," Shober said.
Bear said he does not plan to campaign as much as he did during for the primary, but instead make commitments to voters on what he will in office, which he said he will make public as the election draws closer.