Brodehl Draws Democratic Challenger in County Commission Race

Jim Lockwood will contest the District 3 commission seat against incumbent Republican

By Micah Drew
Flathead County Commissioner Randy Brodehl in Kalispell. Beacon file photo

Flathead County Commissioner Randy Brodehl no longer has an uncontested path to victory in his second county-wide election after a Democratic challenger filed for the District 3 seat representing the northern part of the county.

Whitefish resident Jim Lockwood filed for the seat earlier this week and will attempt to unseat Brodehl in November. Neither candidate faces primary opponents.

Lockwood is originally from Glasgow where he was a state champion wrestler for Glasgow High School, and subsequently won three straight Big Sky Conference wrestling championships for Montana State University.

After serving in the Vietnam War, Lockwood worked as a construction attorney in Washington, D.C. before retiring to Whitefish in 2007. Since then, he has been an active in the local community, spending 11 years as chairman of the Whitefish Animal Group, the nonprofit that runs the Hugh Rogers WAG Dog Park.

Flathead County residents elected Brodehl to the county commission in 2018 after he served in the Legislature for eight years. Prior to that, Brodehl was a career firefighter and retired as fire chief of the Kalispell Fire Department.  

In his first race for county commission, Brodehl won with 63% of the vote, defeating Democrat Tom Clark.

The three county commissioners serve six-year staggered terms. In 2022, incumbent Pam Holmquist squeaked out a narrow primary victory against challenger Jack Fallon and fended off a write-in campaign Fallon launched for the general election. In 2020, Brad Abell won the general election with 65% of the vote against Democrat Kristen Larson.

The last Democrat elected to the Flathead County executive board was Joe Brenneman in 2004.

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