Election Season Begins for 2013 City Races

By Beacon Staff

Another election season is officially underway.

Filing opened for the 2013 municipal races Monday, April 29. It closes June 27 and the election is Nov. 5.

This year’s election features races for mayor in both Kalispell and Columbia Falls. Tammi Fisher announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection after serving one term as Kalispell’s mayor. Don Barnhart has served as Columbia Falls’ mayor since 2009.

One mayoral candidate emerged on opening day. Mark Johnson filed on Monday for the Kalispell position.

There are four city council seats open in Kalispell and three in both Whitefish and Columbia Falls.

The open seats in Kalispell are currently served by Bob Hafferman in Ward 1, Jeff Zauner in Ward 2, Jim Atkinson in Ward 3 and Tim Kluesner in Ward 4.

Sandy Mundahl Carlson filed as a candidate in Ward 1 and Chad Graham filed in Ward 2.

The boundaries of Kalispell’s wards were tweaked and amended in January 2012. Click here to view the latest districts.

In Whitefish, the councilors whose terms are ending are Phil Mitchell, Bill Kahle and Chris Hyatt.

In Columbia Falls, the councilors whose terms are ending are Shawn Bates, Dave Petersen and Mike Shepard. No candidates filed on opening day.

A municipal judge position is up for election in both Kalispell and Whitefish as well. Bradley Johnson filed for reelection for the Whitefish seat. Lori Adams is currently serving as Kalispell’s city judge after replacing Heidi Ulbricht, who was elected to district court in November. Adams, a former Flathead County deputy attorney, was the lone applicant to replace Ulbricht.

For those interested in keeping an eye on who’s filing, check out the county’s website.

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