Recount Confirms Holmquist as Winner

Incumbent commissioner retains seat following ballot recount, will serve third consecutive term

By Micah Drew
Flathead County Commissioner Pam Holmquist pictured in Kalispell on May 5, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The election recount for the Flathead County Commissioners race reconfirmed the canvassed results with incumbent commissioner Pam Holmquist sustaining a 40 vote lead over challenger Jack Fallon.

The recount showed a net four-vote loss for Fallon and a net six-vote loss for Holmquist, not enough to change the outcome of a race that saw 64% of voters cast ballots against the incumbent. Holmquist received 7,520 votes out of 21,010 cast in the commission race, a 20% increase in primary voters from the 2020 election.

Holmquist ran her second reelection campaign on her record of fiscal responsibility as well as her decade-long goal of getting a new county detention facility over the finish line.

“It all goes back to my original motivation to run and that is that I love serving my community, and I think I have a lot to offer,” Holmquist told the Beacon before the election. “I stand by my service so far.”

Holmquist is the de facto winner of the general election in November as no Democratic candidate filed for the seat. Her third six-year term on the commission will last until 2028

Another recount was held for the Precinct 24 Committeewoman race, where Constance Neumann’s one-vote lead over Deborah Wilson was unchanged.

The election absentee board rejected roughly 600 ballots due to voters filling out both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots which renders their vote void.

“We can’t accept the right one, even though maybe their intention was to do it right,” county elections manager Monica Eisenzimer told the commissioners during the primary canvass on June 21. “It’s frustrating to us and I’m sure it’s frustrating to you [commissioners] but there’s nothing in the law that we can do to accept that.”

Eisenzimer told the Beacon the number of rejected ballots was similar to previous primary elections.

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