Roll Re-Elected Mayor in Libby

By Beacon Staff

Libby Mayor Doug Roll held his seat against councilor Allen Olsen by just 13 votes on Tuesday night. Initially Olsen said he would seek a recall, but on Wednesday morning he changed his mind.

There is likely going to be a recount in the city council election involving Barbara Desch, who received 250 votes and edged incumbent Vicky Lawrence by just one vote.

Lincoln County election officials said Lawrence was expected to make the formal recount request Wednesday morning and that it would take place Thursday.

According to unofficial election results, Roll received 290 votes and Olsen got 277. The two men have had a checkered past and the race for mayor in Libby was one of the most heated in the area. Roll first joined the city council in 2003 before being appointed to mayor in 2008. He was re-elected in 2009. Olsen was elected to the council in November 2011.

In 2012, Roll refused to formally put Olsen on any committees because he alleged the councilor did not live within city limits. This year, Olsen blasted Roll for fixing a city-owned vehicle at his garage. Then, in July, Olsen and Roll butted heads over the lease of a city-owned asphalt zipper. In September, City Attorney James Reintsma threatened Olsen with censure after he continued to criticize the work of a local water irrigation company during city council meetings. Olsen owns a tree nursery that also does water work. Just last week Reintsma filed an injunction to halt the mayoral race over concerns about Olsen’s residency. The request was later withdrawn and the election was allowed to go forward.