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Wyoming lawmaker appointed to fill vacant House seat

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — County commissioners in Wyoming have appointed Chris Knapp to fill a vacant House seat after Gillette Republican Rep. Roy Edwards died from COVID-19 on Nov. 2, the day before the general election.

Campbell County commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 at a special meeting on Monday, The Gillette News Record reported. Knapp, a Republican, was one of three finalists interviewed during the meeting for the House District 53, which includes Gillette.

Knapp previously served three terms as a county commissioner from 2001 to 2012. Knapp will now serve the remainder of Edwards’ current term, as well as the entirety of Edwards’ upcoming term, which begins next year and lasts two years.

Edwards was one of three Wyoming state lawmakers whose COVID-19 diagnosis has been made public.

Wyoming Senate President Drew Perkins, a Republican, announced he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Casper Republican Sen. Jim Anderson announced he had contracted the virus earlier this year.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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