The unofficial results of the Tuesday, June 7, 2022, Montana Primary Election are being tallied.
Several statewide and local races are being decided, including for Montana's newly drawn congressional districts.
Matt Rosendale, who currently serves as Montana's sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives, cruised to victory over fellow candidates in Tuesday's GOP primary election for the state's newly-created second seat. (Full story here.)
Penny Ronning, a former Billings city councilwoman, has won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House District 2. The Associated Press called the race around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday night with 8% of precincts reporting statewide. Both CNN and NBC National News called the race earlier in the evening. (Full story here.)
The votes are still being counted but the Democratic winner for Montana's First Congressional District — which covers the western portion of the state — is Monica Tranel. Cora Neumann has conceded the race. (Full story here)
Western Congressional District Democrats
In Montana’s western congressional district, three candidates are making the case that they’re the best choice to bring the Democratic Party’s message into the general election.
Cora Neumann, Monica Tranel and Tom Winter are all seeking the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District, which covers much of western Montana, including the cities of Kalispell, Missoula, Butte and Bozeman.
Western Congressional District Democrats Republicans
Five Republicans will be on the primary ballot in Montana’s western congressional district, and four of them are based in the Flathead. Much of the attention in the primary has been on Ryan Zinke, former Montana congressman and U.S. Secretary of the Interior. He’s being challenged by orthopedic surgeon and former state senator Al Olszewski, pastor and small business owner Mary Todd, businessman Mitch Heuer, and government teacher and professor Matt Jette.
Eastern Congressional District Democrats
In the Democratic primary for Montana's eastern congressional district, the candidates are advocates against human trafficking Penny Ronning, rookie progressive Skylar Williams and an unpicked stand-in for State Sen. Mark Sweeney, who died in early May. Sweeney’s death upended the democratic primary contest. He was the best-funded democratic candidate with some of the most experience, having sat two terms in the state legislature.
Eastern Congressional District Republicans
Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale is being challenged by Republicans Kyle Austin, James Boyette and Charles Walking Child. Rosendale, who has a significant lead in fundraising, was elected as Montana’s only Representative in 2020.
Montana Supreme Court
Two seats on the Montana Supreme Court are up for reelection this year. Both Montana justices James Rice and Ingrid Gustafson are opposed in their races. Gustafson is facing two opponents, PSC President James Brown and Lewis and Clark District Court Judge Mike McMahon, in her primary contest. Rice is challenged by Billings attorney Bill D'Alton.
Montana Public Service Commission
Several hundred thousand Montanans will have the opportunity to select their member of the state Public Service Commission (PSC), which approves rates and monitors service quality for private electric and natural gas companies. The PSC also has jurisdiction on private water and sewer companies and landline telephone providers. The Commission doesn't set rates for private garbage companies, but do decide which ones can enter specific markets. In addition, they oversee taxi services and ridesharing companies.
The most crowded race is in District 5. After a federal court redrew the districts to bring their populations more closely in line, District 5 now includes just four counties: Flathead, Lake, Lewis and Clark and Teton. Four Republicans and two Democrats are seeking to represent the district, taking over for Republican Commissioner Brad Johnson who is termed out.
The Republican candidates are:
- Annie Bukacek of Kalispell, an internal medicine physician and former Flathead Board of Health member.
- Dean Crabb of Marion, formerly worked as an electrical lineman in California.
- Joe Dooling of Helena, is a farmer, rancher and business owner.
- State Representative Derek Skees of Kalispell, has sat on and led legislative committees that oversee the PSC.
The Democrat candidates are:
- John Repke of Whitefish, a retired finance executive
- Kevin Hamm of Helena, who is an owner of IT and internet-service businesses.
The other district holding an election this year is District 1, which covers Great Falls and much of north-central and northeastern Montana. There, incumbent Commissioner Randy Pinocci, R-Sun River, is running for another term. K. Webb Galbreath of Browning is also running in the Republican primary. There is no Democratic candidate in the race.
Missoula County Justice of the Peace
Three people vying to serve as Missoula Justice of the Peace for Department 1. Incumbent Alex Beal is seeking a second term. Beal was elected in 2018, prior to justice court judge he served as Municipal Court Judge. He's being challenged by two men with extensive law enforcement and military backgrounds. Bill Burt is a retired Captain with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office and Daniel Chris Kaneff has 21 years of law enforcement recently retiring from the Missoula police department.
The top two candidates will advance to the General election in November.
Incumbent Judge Landee Holloway and Susan Campbell Reneau are running for the Justice of the Peace Department 2. Both candidates will appear on the General Election ballot in November.
Missoula Aging Services
A levy to fund Missoula's Aging Services was before Missoula voters. Voters approved a flat 2-mill rate of $350,000 in 2007 to fund Missoula Aging Services. However, it provided no mechanism for inflation or boost to cover a demand in services. The levy is seeking to replace the current flat annual funding of $350,000 with a permanent levy of four mills to fund services for the county's elderly population. The increased revenue will avoid a reduction of local services to older adults in the county provided by Missoula Aging Services.
Flathead County Commission
A four-way race has been set in the Flathead County Commissioner District 2 Republican primary. District 2 represents the central part of the county. Three candidates are challenging Commissioner Pam Holmquist who is seeking a third term on the board. The three candidates are Jack Fallon, who currently serves as Kalispell School District board vice chair, Brian Friess, a small business owner, and Jason Parce of Bigfork. No Democrats filed to run for any of the positions up for election in the county.
The top two will move on to the November election.
Flathead County Clerk and Recorder
Incumbent Clerk and Recorder Republican Debbie Pierson is being challenged by Republican Madelene Howard. No Democrats have filed. Both will move on to the general election.
Flathead County Superintendent of Schools
Current Flathead Superintendent of Schools Jack Eggensperger did not file for re-election. The two candidates that filed are Republicans Cal Ketchum and Erin Arneson. There are no Democrat challengers. Both move on to November.
Kalispell Fireifgher Residency Requirement Repeal
Kalispell residents were asked to repeal the voter initiative adopted by the electors in 1981 which mandates A Kalispell city firefighter during the term of his or her employment must reside within three air miles of the city or reside where they can report to the fire station within 15 minutes of a fire call.
Ravalli County Commission
Incumbent Republican Jeff Burrows seeking re-election to represent Ravalli County Commissioner District 3. Burrows is challenged by republican David Eutsler. The winner of the Republican seat moves on to the general election to face Libertarian Marlin Ostrander Senior.
Ravalli County Attorney
Incumbent Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright, a Republican, is being challenged by Joan Mell. Mell also a Republican has a private law practice in Hamilton. There are no Democrats running for Ravalli County Attorney.
Ravalli County Marijuana Tax Levies
The first one is should Ravalli County impose a 3% local option marijuana excise tax on the retail value of all non-medical marijuana and all non-medical marijuana products sold within Ravalli County.
The other tax request is for medical marijuana. Residents are being asked to impose a 3% tax on the retail value of all medical marijuana and all medical marijuana products sold with Ravalli County.
Lake County Commissioner District 2
Lake County is governed by an elected Board of three Commissioners who represent one of the three Lake County districts. District 2 is up for re-election in 2022. District 2 represents southern Lake County. Incumbent Lake County Commissioner Steve Stanley of District 2 faces a pair of challengers in the Primary. They are Max Krantz, a rancher from Charlo and Roy Anderson also a farmer/rancher from St. Ignatius.
All three candidates are running as Republicans, so the top two will advance to the General Election in November. There are no Democrats running for Lake County Commissioner District 2.
Lake County Sheriff
Current Lake County Sheriff and Coroner Don Bell is seeking re-election. Bell has held the position since 2015. Bell is being challenged by Ronan Police Sergeant Corey White Junior. There are no democrats running for Lake County Sheriff. Both men are running as Republicans, so the name of the Primary Election winner will appear on the November General Election ballot as an unopposed candidate.
Lake County Justice of the Peace
Three Republican candidates are vying to become Lake County’s next Justice of the Peace, a judicial position that oversees the county’s Justice Court. Current Justice of the Peace Randy Owens is not running. The three candidates running are Tony Isbell, a Polson City Commissioner; Michael Larson, a City of Polson judge and Rick Schoening a retired state game warden. The top two candidates in the primary will move on to the General Election.
Lake County Marijuana Tax Levies
The first one is whether Lake County should impose a 3% tax on recreational marijuana and recreational marijuana products sold within the county.
The other marijuana tax is for medical marijuana. Lake County is asking residents if a 3% local option excise tax should be imposed on medical marijuana and medical marijuana products sold within the county.
Sanders County Commission - District 1
In Sanders County two of the three county commissioner district seats are contested. Commissioners are non-partisan. The top two winners of the primary will move on to the November election. The three candidates are Dan Rowan, Adam Bache, and Daniel Moore.
Sanders County Commission - District 2
Four candidates are running to represent Sanders County Commissioner District 2. They are Randy Arnold, Don Detienne, John Holland, and Mahlon Lee. The top two will advance to the general election.
Sanders County Sheriff
Six candidates are running to become Sanders County's top law enforcement officer. Current Sheriff Tom Rummel is not seeking re-election. This is also a non-partisan race. The candidates are Shawn Fielders, Mark French, Lanny Hensley, Roy Scott, Christopher Stough, and Corey Wheeldon. The top two will move to the November 8th election.
Sanders County Coroner
For Sanders County Coroner incumbent Pat Barber is challenged by Martin Spring. Both candidates move on to the General election.
Sanders County Clerk and Recorder
For Sanders County Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer and Superintendent of Schools two candidates are running for this seat. Incumbent Nichol Scribner and Kathleen French. Both automatically move to November.
Sanders County Justice of the Peace
Incumbent Doug Dryden is seeking another term to serve as Sanders County Justice of the Peace. He's being challenged by Carl Marquardt. Both advance to the General Election.
Sanders County Aging Services Levy
The Sanders County Commission is asking voters to authorize a levy of approximately $50,000 annually for the purpose of maintaining the operation of aging services, including transportation, nutritional and other programs, and senior citizens centers in the county.
Mineral County Sheriff
Current Mineral County Sheriff Mike Toth is not seeking re-election. Two Republicans running to be Mineral County's top law enforcement officer. They are Wayne Cashman and Ryan Funke. Both men currently work for the Mineral County Sheriff's Office. Cashman is currently the Undersheriff and Funke has been a sergeant for over four years.
Mineral County Treasurer
The four-year term for the position of Mineral County Treasurer/Superintendent of Schools is on the ballot. Mary Yarnall is the current Treasurer/Superintendent of Schools and will be retiring at the end of her term this year. Candidates Merry Mueller and Jill Betts both Republicans each work within the department.
Granite County Commission - District 2
Granite County has three county commissioners. Commissioners are elected for six-year terms with one commissioner up for election every two years. District 2 is up for re-election. Republican incumbent Scott Adler is being challenged by John Kendall, also Republican. That means the primary will likely decide the winner.
Granite County Attorney
Incumbent Blaine Cooper Bradshaw seeking another term as Granite County Attorney. He's being challenged by Republican Lawrence Henke who is an attorney in Butte. Both Bradshaw and Henke are Republicans and there are no other candidates. That also means the primary will likely decide the winner.
Granite County Prohibition of Recreational Marijuana
Granite County residents are being asked to consider whether or not to prohibit adult-use dispensaries. Granite County currently allows recreational sales because majorities voted for Initiative-90 in 2020, that legalized marijuana. But petitioners gathered enough signatures to ask residents on this ballot to repeal recreational marijuana dispensaries in Granite County.