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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Unofficial reports show incumbent mayors winning their races

A voter drops off mail-in ballots at the Yellowstone County Court House June 2, 2020.
Nicky Ouellet
Yellowstone Public Radio

Several cities in western Montana appear to be sticking with their mayors.

Unofficial county election results show incumbent mayors in Missoula, Helena, Kalispell and Great Falls hold leads against their challengers.

Longtime Missoula mayor John Engen has a 26-point lead on challenger and law student at the University of Montana Jacob Elder. Engen has held the mayor’s post for 16 years and is seeking a fifth term.

Kalispell Mayor Mark Johnson is beating Sid Daoud by more than 40 points. Johnson had previously run unopposed for the spot since he was elected to run the city in 2014.

Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins holds alead of 36 points over challenger Sonda Gaub. Collins is running for his second term.

And in Great Falls, mayor Bob Kelly holds a lead of 25 points over challenger and former city commissioner Fred Burow, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

Whitefish approves resort tax extension

Unofficial election results in Whitefish show voters approve renewing a resort tax for the next two decades by a 80 percent margin. The 3 percent local sales tax on some goods and services largely funds local infrastructure and property tax relief.

Since the tax was first implemented in 1996 it has earned the city about 50 million dollars in revenue and about 16 million dollars in property tax relief.

All results are not yet official.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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