House District 8 Voters to Choose Between Republican Falk and Libertarian Daoud

Sid Daoud previously ran for the House District 8 seat in 2018, when he lost to then incumbent John Fuller by 1,700 votes.

By Mike Kordenbrock
Terry Falk and Sid Daoud. Beacon file photo

House District 8 voters in the upcoming election will have a chance to choose between Republican Terry Falk, a real estate loan officer who emerged from a crowded Republican primary field last June, and Libertarian Sid Daoud, a tech industry consultant who serves on the Kalispell City Council.

The HD8 seat, which includes portions of southern and western Kalispell, is up for grabs after John Fuller opted to vacate the seat and run for the state senate. Fuller and Daoud had faced off in the general election for the seat in 2018, when Fuller won with 68% of the vote.

On his campaign website, Falk describes himself as a Kalispell resident for the last 42 years, who for the last seven years has been an assistant seventh grade basketball coach at Stillwater Christian School. Falk has also served on the Samaritan House board and is a deacon at his church. Additionally, he emphasized his past ownership of the Split Rock Café, his volunteer work for Feeding the Flathead, and his work as a past local president for the Evangelical Christian group Gideons International.

Falk told the Beacon in May that if elected he would prioritize government effectiveness and efficiency, and minimizing the tax burden on citizens.  “Government overspending of our tax revenue that we send to them needs to stop,” he said.

Falk also highlighted greater emphasis on financial literacy in public school curriculums, a desire reign in property taxes.

 “We in the Flathead have been discovered. I understand why people would like to move to the Flathead but the challenges with the traffic, restaurant lines, overflowing parks, but most of all the ever-increasing property tax. We must tackle this issue at the state level as well as the county level.”

 At a recent candidate forum hosted by the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Daoud described his heritage as the son of a mother who was an Armenian immigrant, and a father with roots in territorial Montana. He noted that he’s a U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged. Falk was absent from the forum and was unavailable for an interview before publication of this story.

The top issue for Daoud is housing and homelessness, he said, arguing that “everything else we’re talking about here is dependent on people having a place to live.” On that issue, Daoud said that housing construction in Kalispell was being delayed because of the high price of materials and a lack of construction workers.

 “Republicans will love this. But I know where there’s a whole bunch of construction workers if we look a little bit to our south,” Daoud said.

Until a market correction occurs, Daoud suggested what he described as creative solutions, like bringing back boarding houses. Daoud’s secondary top issue is property taxes. He wants the state to use its budget surplus to pay down debt, and then apply anything left to reduce property taxes.

Long-term Daoud said that the state should cap the number of years someone should pay property taxes and said the state should be exploring other tax structures instead.

 Candidates at the forum were asked if they support the Montana Constitution as it stands. The person who asked the question also referenced the state constitution’s protections for privacy. The privacy protections in the Montana Constitution were cited by District Court Judge Michael Moses when he enjoined a series of abortion restrictions passed by Republicans during the last legislative session, including banning abortion after 20 weeks. Those laws have been challenged in a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood of Montana, and the state Supreme Court upheld Moses’ decision to block the laws while that case proceeds, the Montana Free Press reported in August.

 “I’m a big fan of our Montana Constitution,” Daoud said. “It does have some issues, but we have the ability and we have the mechanism to change what we want with the Constitution, it just has to go in front of the people to be done.”

He later added that he “loves” the privacy protections the state constitution provides, before describing how he’s concerned about potential privacy abuses from government.

 Falk has described himself as “pro-life” and on his campaign website he also lists himself as a volunteer for Flathead Pro-Life, a local group which wants to end abortion. His campaign website does not mention his views of the Montana constitution.