Sheriff, commission races are biggest contests

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Contested races for Flathead County sheriff and the District 3 commissioner seat will top the ballot heading into the June 5 primary election.

Filing for state and county races ended Monday.

There will be a four-way race to replace retiring Sheriff Chuck Curry. Jordan White, Calvin Beringer, Keith Stahlberg and Brian Heino all are vying for sheriff on the Republican ticket. There are no Democratic challengers.

District 3 County Commissioner Gary Krueger is running for a second six-year term as a Republican, but faces a challenge from Republican Gerald “Jay” Scott, who lost to Krueger by 23 votes in the June 2012 primary election. Randy Brodehl and Ronalee Skees are other Republican contenders for the District 3 seat that covers the southern and West Valley areas of the county.

In the Nov. 6 general election, the Republican winner for District 3 commissioner will face Democrat Tom Clark.

Travis Ahner is the lone contender for Flathead County attorney; current County Attorney Ed Corrigan is not seeking re-election.

Other uncontested county candidates include Clerk and Recorder Debbie Pierson, Treasurer Adele Krantz and County Superintendent of Schools Jack Eggensperger, who are all running for re-election.

In the nonpartisan Justice of the Peace races, incumbent Eric S. Hummel is the lone contender for the Department 1 justice position. In the Department 2 race, William L. Managhan and Paul Sullivan will face off for the justice position currently held by Mark R. Sullivan.

In state legislative races there are a couple of contested races to be decided in the June primary election.

Republican incumbent House District 7 Rep. Frank Garner faces a challenge from Republican Robert Welzel. The primary election winner will face Democrat James H. Cossitt in the general election.

In House District 9, Republicans David Dunn and Warren A. Illi are vying for the seat currently held by Randy Brodehl, who can’t run again because of term limits. The winner will face Democrat Robert Peterson.

Other legislative races to be decided in the general election include:

• Senate District 4 — Incumbent Republican Mark Blasdel faces a challenge by Democrat Diane Taylor-Mahnke.

• Senate District 5 — Incumbent Republican Bob Keenan faces Democratic challenger Jennifer Allen.

• House District 3 — Incumbent Democrat Zac Perry faces Republican Jerry O’Neil in a rematch, joined by Libertarian challenger Shawn Leslie Guymon.

• House District 4 — Incumbent Republican Matt Regier faces Democratic challenger Kwen Shirley.

• House District 5 — Incumbent Democrat Dave Fern faces Libertarian challenger Cindy Dyson.

• House District 6 — Incumbent Republican Carl Glimm faces Democratic challenger Mary Custer.

• House District 8 — Libertarian Sid Daoud and Republican John Fuller have filed for the seat held by Republican Steve Lavin, who is not seeking re-election.

• House District 10 — Incumbent Republican Mark Noland faces Libertarian Bill Jones.

• House District 11 — Incumbent Republican Derek Skees faces a challenge by Democrat JoBeth Blair.

Flathead County District 11 judges Amy Eddy, Robert B. Allison and Heidi Ulbricht are all running unopposed for re-election.

Flathead County continues to need election judges, county Election Manager Monica Eisenzimer said. Responsibilities would include supervising the conduct inside polling places and helping Montanans cast their ballot both privately and independently.

Anyone wanting to become an election judge should fill out an application form and send it to the Election Department. The form can be downloaded at

Election officials will contact those interested to set up a training session.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or

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