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This year’s elections in Ravalli County became a little more interesting with several candidates filing just under the deadline Monday.

Perry Backus

This year’s elections in Ravalli County became a little more interesting with several candidates filing just under the deadline Monday.

The last-minute filing resulted in races for two county commission positions and a three-party race for a state legislative seat, which will include Ravalli County’s first Green Party candidate.

State Rep. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, will face challenges in the general election from both a Democrat and a Green Party candidate.

Democrats Laura Jackson and Mary Toews will face off in June’s primary for a chance to challenge Manzella this fall. Both candidates are from Hamilton.

John Gibney of Hamilton also filed as a candidate for House District 85 as a Green Party candidate.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton certified the Green Party for the 2018 elections just hours before Monday’s deadline for candidates to file for office. Gibney was one of a handful who filed in the state under the new affiliation.

Two incumbent county commissioners also drew new challenges that will be decided in the fall’s general election.

Democrat Lyndsay Stover of Florence filed against incumbent Greg Chilcott, R-Stevensville, for the District 1 position. Incumbent Chris Hoffman, R-Corvallis, will face off against Independent candidate Christopher “Lance” Hartshorn of Victor for District 2.

Commission Chair Jeff Burrows, R-Hamilton, will run unopposed.

The Ravalli County commission will transition from its current five members to three starting next year. Ravalli County residents voted by a 71 percent margin in 2016 to reduce the size of the commission.

There is only one other contested county position on the ballot. Justice of the Peace incumbent Jim Bailey faces a challenge from former county sheriff Perry Johnson.

On the state level, incumbent senator Patrick “Pat” Connell, R-Hamilton, faces challenges in the primary from Hamilton Republicans Jason W. Ellsworth and Scott Roy McLean in Senate District 43. The winner of the primary will run against Independent candidate Laura Garber in the general election.

Republicans and Democrats are vying for two state House seats vacated by term-limited legislators.

Republican candidates David Bedey and Jacob DeVries are seeking the House District 86 seat once held by Rep. Ron Ehli, R-Hamilton. Both men are from Hamilton. The winner in the primary will face a challenge from Democrat Jason F. Nickisch of Florence this fall.

Republican candidate Sharon Greef is running for the House District 88 seat held for years by her husband, Ed. She faces a primary challenge from Republicans James “Jim” Crews of Stevensville and Kim Stoltz of Florence. Democrat Margaret Gorski of Stevensville will meet the winner in the general election.



Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.