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  Comments (1) Total Wednesday Apr. 23, 2014
Crowded Legislative Ballots in the Flathead
Tutvedt, Reichner face challengers; Zinke, Skees departures leave open seats
The Montana state capitol building in Helena. - File photo by Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
With a record number of candidate filings, Montanans can expect to see competitive legislative races across the state, including several crowded ballots in the Flathead.

After filing closed on March 12, the Montana secretary of state’s office reported that a record 439 candidates filed for public office. The final tally from Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, which includes withdrawn filings, is up from 379 total candidate filings in 2010 and 388 in 2008.

Of the 439 filings, 325 were legislative, meaning candidates who are running for state Senate and House. The other 114 non-legislative filings include races for president, governor and lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate and House, secretary of state, attorney general, district judges and other positions.

In the Flathead, there will be a number of interesting legislative races to keep an eye on, with a smattering of newcomers hoping to unseat established incumbents in the 2013 state Legislature.

Incumbent Republican Bruce Tutvedt has two Republican challengers and one Democrat vying for his Senate District 3 seat. Republicans Rollan Roberts II of Whitefish and Jayson Peters of Lakeside and Democrat Shannon Hanson have thrown their names in the hat.

Senate District 2 is open because incumbent Republican Ryan Zinke is running for lieutenant governor on Neil Livingstone’s gubernatorial ticket. Three Republicans, including former state Rep. Dee Brown of Hungry Horse and current Rep. Bill Beck of House District 6 from Whitefish, will be battling in the primary.

The third Republican is Suzanne Brooks from Whitefish, who challenged Zinke in 2008. David Fern, a long-time school board member in Whitefish, is the lone Democrat running in the Senate District 2 race.

Down in the Polson area, Senate District 6 has a crowded ballot, with three Republicans and a Democrat. Cheryl Wolfe, a Green Party candidate, also filed but failed to receive enough signatures to appear on the ballot.

Incumbent Sen. Carmine Mowbray is being challenged in the Senate District 6 Republican primary by Michael Larson of Polson and Janna Taylor of Dayton, who is leaving her representative seat in House District 11 to run for the Senate.

House District 4 is open since incumbent Republican Derek Skees is challenging Democratic State Auditor Monica Lindeen for her office. Kalispell’s Tim Baldwin, the son of pastor and former lieutenant governor hopeful Chuck Baldwin, faces Walter Keathley of Kalispell in the Republican primary.

In House District 4’s Democratic primary, Ed Lieser and Tom Muri – both of Whitefish – will square off.

Most of the other House races in the Flathead have no primaries, with only one Republican and one Democrat on the ballot. An exception is House District 9, where incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Reichner of Bigfork faces primary opposition from Polson’s Frank Mutch. Democrat Rodrik Brosten of Bigfork is running as a Democrat.

Republican Jerry O’Neil of Columbia Falls is defending his seat in House District 3 against challengers Zac Perry of Hungry Horse, a Democrat, and Shawn Guymon of Kalispell, a Libertarian.

Senate District 2:

Bill Beck (R) Whitefish

Suzanne Brooks (R) Whitefish

Dee Brown (R) Hungry Horse

David Fern (D) Whitefish

Senate District 3:

*Bruce Tutvedt (R) Kalispell

Jayson Peters (R) Lakeside

Rollan Roberts II (R) Whitefish

Shannon Hanson (D) Whitefish

Senate District 6:

*Carmine Mowbray (R) Polson

Janna Taylor (R) Dayton

Michael (Mike) Larson (R) Polson

Craig McClure (D) Polson

House District 1:

*Gerald (Jerry) Bennett (R) Libby

House District 2:

*Mike Cuffe (R) Eureka

Ronald McDole (D) Eureka

House District 3:

*Jerry O’Neil (R) Columbia Falls

Zac Perry (D) Hungry Horse

Shawn Guymon (L) Kalispell

House District 4:

Tim Baldwin (R) Kalispell

Walter Keathley (R) Kalispell

Ed Lieser (D) Whitefish

Tom Muri (D) Whitefish

House District 5:

*Keith Regier (R) Kalispell

James Mahnke (D) Columbia Falls

House District 6:

Carl Glimm (R) Kila

Brenda Talbert (D) Kalispell

House District 7:

*Randy Brodehl (R) Kalispell

Diane Frances Taylor (D) Columbia Falls

House District 8:

*Steve Lavin (R) Kalispell

Brittany MacLean (D) Whitefish

House District 9:

*Scott Reichner (R) Bigfork

Frank Mutch (R) Polson

Rodrik Brosten (D) Bigfork

House District 10:

*Mark Blasdel (R) Somers

Alexander William Schaeffer (D) Kalispell

House District 11:

Greg Hertz (R) Polson

Bud Koppy (D) Kila

House District 12:

*Daniel Salomon (R) Ronan

Luke Walawander (D) Ronan

On 03-17-12, Patriot Man commented....
One of you incumbent local RINO’s has threatened your challengers.  That sure doesn’t help your campaign much.  It is great to see true constitutional candidates that believe in serving “We the People” instead of your type, catering to special interest lobbies and the “money” people. Your…
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