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Engen, Elder to face off in Missoula mayor race

Posted at 8:51 AM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 10:51:54-04

MISSOULA — Two candidates have been chosen to face off for Missoula mayor in November. One is incumbent John Engen and the other is Jacob Elder.

In the race with four competitors, Engen coasted to an easy slot in the November general with 51% of the vote, unofficially. Elder grabbed the second spot in the general election with 26% of the vote. Shawn Knopp and Greg Strandberg did not get enough support to advance.

That means Engen will go for another term facing Elder in November.

Mayor Engen says his campaign is "clearly very happy" with the results. Speaking to us via Zoom from his virtual campaign party, Engen told us he's "very excited" about clearing the Primary election hurdle. Even though he's "not counting chickens" before the General election drive, he appreciates the vote of confidence.

"This level of support I believe suggests that we're getting the message out, that my record is one that lots of folks appreciate and support,” Engen said. “And they know that with my experience and with my vision, which is a collective vision for this community, and my ability to work with others, we'll get some stuff done."

Newcomer, Jacob Elder, is also happy with the results but he shared with MTN News that he does have quite the to-do list in the next six weeks.

Leading up to the general election, he says his team will be rolling up their sleeves and knocking on doors to prove that he is the change Missoula needs.

"Well you know I'm pleased with the numbers, I think we see it as a strong showing and we see that Missoulians are ready for change, and we're hoping that we will be able to get the other two fellows that ran, we’ll be able to get their voters on our side going into the general, but we intend on campaigning harder and ensuring that we bring change to Missoula come November 2nd.”

Four candidates were running to represent Ward 1.

They include Kevin Hunt, Jennifer Savage, Jane VanFossen and Sheena Winterer. The top two advancing to the General Election in November are Savage, who was the only candidate with more than 1,000 votes, and VanFossen, who edged Sheena Winterer by one percentage point for the primary nod.

Ward 6 had three candidates but one dropped out, meaning both Tom Taylor and Kirsten Jordan will each advance to the November election. But for the record, Jordan came in at just over 2,000 votes while Taylor had 85t

Click here to view the unofficial results from the municipal primary election.