Incumbent Kalispell Councilors Prevail in Redo Election

After six months in limbo, Kari Gabriel and Sam Nunnally won their re-election bids on Tuesday

By Micah Drew
Kalispell City Council Chambers on March 16, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

After a clerical error by the Flathead County Elections Department invalidated the Kalispell city council election last fall, two incumbent councilors have been in a state of limbo. The mistake that sent incorrect ballots to roughly 8% of the city’s voters led to an annulment of results for the Ward 1 and Ward 2 elections, even though the nullified results tipped the positions in favor of the sitting councilors.

After stepping down from their roles following the ballot mishap, and then earning appointments as interim councilors, Kari Gabriel and Sam Nunnally have formally retained their seats, pending a canvass of the county’s election results.

Turnout for the two races exceeded November’s election, and both councilors won with significantly greater margins, which saw Gabriel and Nunnally prevail by 80 and 109 votes, respectively.

Kalispell City Council Election Results

Ward 1

  • Kari Sue Gabriel (654)
  • Wes Walker (451)

Ward 2

  • Gabriel Dillon (572)
  • Sam Nunnally (736)