County Commissioner Phil Mitchell Announces He Won’t Run for Reelection

Republican Elliot Adams filed to run on Jan. 13 for seat vacated by Mitchell, who is retiring from public service

By Justin Franz
Phil Mitchell. Beacon File Photo

Flathead County Commissioner Phil Mitchell will not run for reelection in 2020.

The one-term commissioner representing the north end of the valley told the Beacon on Jan. 13 that he wanted to focus on other parts of his life and that 14 years in local politics was enough. He will finish his term, which runs through the end of the year.

“I was on the Whitefish School Board for four years, the Whitefish City Council for four years and the Flathead County Commission for six years,” he said. “That’s 14 years of public service and I think that’s enough.”

On Monday, Flathead County Planning Board member Elliot Adams, a Republican, filed to run for Mitchell’s vacated seat. He is the first person to enter the race.

Adams works in construction and owns and manages a number of local rental properties. His wife owns a photography business.

In a press release announcing his plans to run, Adams said he was an advocate for property rights, a proud gun owner and would come out against any new taxes.

“As a planning board member, I have sought to protect our property rights,” he said. “At the same time, we also must plan for the Flathead Valley’s inevitable growth and make sure the next generation finds our valley as wonderful a place to live and raise children as we do. We can harmonize individual property rights with addressing future growth.”

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