Polling places opened at 7 a.m. around Flathead County as residents and political candidates alike await the results of the 2018 Primary Election.
Polls close at 8 p.m. Click here for a list of polling places as determined by legislative districts.
In some races, including the high-profile competition for the sheriff’s office, the primary essentially decides the outcome, given that there’s no candidates from other parties on the ballots. Republicans Jordan White, Calvin Beringer, Brian Heino, and Keith Stahlberg are all jockeying for the top cop position.
Two local attorneys are vying to be Flathead County’s next Justice of the Peace. Paul Sullivan and William Managhan will both appear on the June primary ballot in what will be the first test for their candidacy in the November general election.
Because the Justice of the Peace race is non-partisan, and there are only two candidates in the primary, both Sullivan and Managhan will continue on to the general election. Eric Hummel, the department one Justice of the Peace, is running unopposed.
Another key race this year includes a seat on the Flathead County Commission, which is arguably the most powerful board in county government. Republican incumbent Commissioner Gary Krueger faces a primary challenge from Republicans Gerald “Jay” Scott, Randy Brodehl, and Ronalee Skees.
Voters will also decide on a handful of state legislative seats, only a few of which have consequences in the primaries.
Flathead County voters determine a controversial issue relating to a proposed water-bottling plant in Creston. Initiative 17-01 seeks to expand the Egan Slough Zoning District to include an additional 530 acres, which could stymie plans for the bottling plant.
In the race for Montana Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s seat, a field of four GOP candidates will square off in the primary with the hope of taking on Tester in the General Election.
In the race for Montana Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Giantforte’s seat, five Democrats are running to challenge the incumbent congressman for his seat in November.
For more information on the Primary Election, including where and how to register to vote, visit the Flathead County Election Department’s website.
We’ll update results live at flatheadbeacon.com after the polls close.