Jim Dupont ensured Flathead County Commissioner Gary Hall will serve only one term, defeating the incumbent by a wide margin in the Republican primary. Early on election night, Dupont, a former Flathead County sheriff, jumped out to a big lead when the results of the absentee ballots were released; and he hung on to his lead as the night wore on, eventually defeating Hall by a count of 8,065 to 3,585 – getting 69 percent of the vote to Hall’s 31 percent.
The magnitude of Dupont’s victory surprised both him and Hall.
“I wasn’t expecting that big of a margin,” Dupont said. “You never know what to expect going into that.”
Hall caught the results that night on a 10 p.m. newscast with his wife.
“We thought it was going to be closer than it was,” Hall said, adding, “We are really excited about having a new section in our life.”
Hall is focused on serving out the next six months on the commission and will support and campaign for Dupont.
“I’ve made a lot of controversial decisions that needed to be made and I have no regrets,” Hall said, adding that he would begin looking for a management job in the area or would like to help develop the proposed pre-release center.
Dupont’s campaign focused on property rights, road and dust issues and public safety. After a few months on the campaign trail, he said he feels confident he emphasized the right issues and he looks forward to facing off against Democrat Steve Qunell.
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