Flathead GOP Central Committee Censures Fallon Following Write-In Campaign

Former county commissioner candidate Jack Fallon accused of harboring "liberal principles," disrespecting election process

By Micah Drew
Candidate for Flathead County Commissioner Jack Fallon pictured in Kalispell on May 6, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead County Republican Central Committee (FCRCC) has publicly censured former county commission candidate Jack Fallon, saying his actions as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 8 general election undermined the “duly elected primary candidate” and disrespected the election process.

Fallon was one of four Republican candidates in the June primary race for the county commission seat held by Pam Holmquist, who ran for reelection. In the primary election, Fallon led in the initial count by four votes, 7,405 to 7,401 for Holmquist. A tabulation of the county’s 307 provisional ballots pushed Holmquist to a 42-vote lead, and a requested recount gave the incumbent a final 40-vote margin.

During the campaign season leading up to the primary, the FCRCC  targeted Fallon and other candidates in Republican primaries for legislative seats, for not representing “Republican Values, Conservative Principles and Republican Voters,” according to an endorsement mailer.

“It didn’t surprise me and it didn’t bother me,” Fallon said in an interview with the Beacon last fall, referring to the un-endorsement. “To me the GOP platform for the last 50 years has been ‘how to make things work.’ I’m fiscally conservative, and I hold people accountable and responsible and those are conservative values.”

Fallon said that his narrow margin of loss indicated there was a desire in the county for a change of leadership, and he opted to file as a write-in candidate to offer voters an alternative to Holmquist in the general election. The Democratic Party did not put up a candidate in the general election.

Holmquist called out Fallon after he filed, saying he was clearly not a Republican, or he would have endorsed her.

“Once a primary is over, Republicans get behind the candidate that won,” Holmquist told the Beacon before the general election. “This just shows Jack is not a Republican, because the Republican Party, and all those I know and speak to are squarely behind me. If he was [a Republican], he’d be squarely behind me.”

The FCRCC announced on Dec. 28 they had voted to censure Fallon and revoke his GOP membership, citing “behavior inconsistent with the principles and platform of the Republican Party.”

“Fallon has manipulated public perception to mask his political liberal principles and disrespect the Primary Election process by undermining the duly elected primary candidate for his own personal promotion,” the release stated.

The FCRCC is made up of chair Al Olszewski, Constance Neumann, Brandon Wenzel, Rudy Koestner, Braxton Mitchell, Jolene Regier, Ray Thompson, Ladeine Thompson, Evelyn Cahalen, Lynn Bennett, Ed Byrne, Heidi Roedel and Jake Santee.

Neither Fallon nor FCRCC chair Olszewski could immediately be reached for comment.