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Primary Election Results: Curry Elected Sheriff

By Beacon Staff

Chuck Curry will be the next sheriff of Flathead County, defeating incumbent Mike Meehan by more than 1,500 votes in Tuesday’s Republican primary election, 6,133 to 4,176. With no Democrats running and a third candidate, Lance Norman, winning 20 percent of the vote, Curry will take over the top law enforcement position in the county after receiving 46 percent of the vote.

A former undersheriff, Curry campaigned on reducing the number of administrators in the sheriff’s office, improving deputy morale and increasing the number of school resource officers.

Pam Holmquist won the GOP nomination for Flathead County Commission’s District 2, defeating Howard Gipe, 5,929 to 4,807. She will face incumbent Joe Brenneman in November, who defeated challenger Noel Gorton handily in the Democratic primary, 2,353 to 742.

In local nonpartisan races, David M. Ortley won the four-way race for the new Flathead District Court Judge position, while Daniel Wilson won Justice of the Peace Department 1. Both Wilson and Glen Neier advance to the general. Mark Sullivan won a four-way race for Justice of the Peace Department 2, and will face Travis Bruyer in the runoff, who finished second.

Incumbent Paula Robinson defeated Rebekah Eslick Savelle in the Republican race for Flathead County Clerk and Recorder.

In legislative primaries, Democrat Bryan Schutt will face Republican Steve Lavin to represent Kalispell’s House District 8, a notorious swing district. Independent Bill Jones is also running for the H.D. 8 seat. Former state senator Jerry O’Neil won the three-way Republican primary for Columbia Falls’ House District 3. He will face Democrat Zac Perry, Independent Shawn Guymon and Shawn Bailey of the Constitution Party in November.

Former Kalispell fire chief Randy Brodehl beat Steven Thompson in the GOP primary race for House District 7. Brodehl faces Democrat Karen Reeves in the general election. Republican Jon Sonju, who currently holds the H.D. 7 seat, defeated Dan Pickar in the Senate District 4 primary, and now faces Democrat Mary Reckin in November.

Derek Skees won the three-way GOP primary for Whitefish’s House District 4 to take on Democrat Will Hammerquist in the fall.

Voter turnout in Flathead County was 28 percent, with 16,528 ballots cast out of 58,584 registered voters. Democrats cast 3,284 ballots, while Republicans, who had more hotly contested primary races, cast 13,244 ballots.

Check back with the Beacon for updated and official election results, as well as analysis of the coming election season.

UPDATED: Flathead County and Montana final unofficial election results

FLATHEAD COUNTY RACES (absentee ballots and 42 of 42 precincts reporting)

SHERIFF
winner Chuck Curry-R – 6,133 (46%)
Mike Meehan (incumbent)-R – 4,176 (32%)
Lance Norman-R – 2,630 (20%)

No Democrats filed for the office.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 2
Howard W. Gipe-R – 4,807 (36%)
winner Pam Holmquist-R – 5,929 (45%)
Patrick Nickol-R – 1,525 (12%)

winner Joe Brenneman (incumbent)-D – 2,353 (72%)
Noel Gorton-D – 742 (23%)

COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER/AUDITOR/SURVEYOR
winner Paula Robinson (incumbent)-R – 8,695 (66%)
Rebekah Eslick Savelle-R – 2,766 (21%)

No Democrats filed for the office.

County Attorney Ed Corrigan-R and Superintendent of Public Schools Marcia Sheffels are running unopposed.

FLATHEAD COUNTY NONPARTISAN RACES (top two advance to the general)

DISTRICT COURT JUDGE, DEPARTMENT 4
Rich DeJana – 1,750 (11%)
projected winner David M. Ortley – 7,026 (43%)
Phyllis Quatman – 2,286 (14%)
projected winner Heidi J. Ulbricht – 4,237 (26%)

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, DEPARTMENT 2
projected winner Travis. W. Bruyer – 3,953 (24%)
Eric S. Hummel – 3,305 (20%)
projected winner Mark R. Sullivan – 5,168 (31%)
Paul D. Sullivan – 1,103 (7%)

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, DEPARTMENT 1 both candidates advance to the general election
Glen Neier – 4,454 (27%)
Daniel R. Wilson – 7,625 (46%)

26 percent of voters opted not to vote in this race.

STATE RACES

U.S. HOUSE (792 of 792 precincts reporting)
winner Denny Rehberg (incumbent)-R – 96,463 (75%)
Mark T. French-R – 25,255 (20%)
A.J. Otjen-R – 7,447 (6%)

Tyler Gernant-D – 15,154 (24%)
Melinda Gopher-D – 13,287 (21%)
winner Dennis McDonald-D – 24,134 (38%)
Sam Rankin-D – 10,233 (16%)

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 4
Dan Pickar-R – 456 (17%)
winner Jon Sonju-R – 1,919 (73%)

Mary Reckin-D was unopposed.

HOUSE DISTRICT 3
winner Jerry O’Neil-R – 587 (44%)
Harm Toren-R – 211 (16%)
Sandy Welch-R – 475 (36%)

Zac Perry-D was unopposed.

HOUSE DISTRICT 4
Bill Geisse-R – 166 (13%)
Damon Pace-R – 330 (26%)
winner Derek Skees-R – 612 (59%)

Will Hammerquist-D was unopposed.

HOUSE DISTRICT 7
winner Randy Brodehl-R – 701 (46%)
Steven Thompson-R – 632 (41%)

Karen Reeves-D was unopposed.

HOUSE DISTRICT 8
Carl Glimm-R – 458 (42%)
winnerSteve Lavin-R – 486 (44%)

Dane Clark-D – 91 (19%)
winner Bryan Schutt-D – 329 (70%)

HOUSE DISTRICT 11
J. Garth Cox-R – 20 (6%)
Josh King-R – 72 (20%)
winner Janna Taylor (incumbent)-R – 224 (62%)

No Democrats filed for the office.

Both candidates for House District 5, Keith Reiger-R and James Henry Mahnke-D, were unopposed.

Both candidates for House District 6, Bill Beck-R and Scott Wheeler-D, were unopposed.

Both candidates for House District 9, Scott Reichner-R and Neal Brown-D, were unopposed.

Both candidates for House District 10, Mark Blasdel-R and Carla Augustad-D, were unopposed.

Both candidates for Senate District 5, Verdell Jackson-R and Edd Blackler-D, were unopposed.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER #5 (147 of 147 precincts reporting)
Bill Gallagher-R – 11,041 (50%)
Brad Johnson-R – 10,992 (50%)

Ken Toole-D (incumbent) was unopposed.

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