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Both of Stevensville School District bond requests were voted down Tuesday. 

Perry Backus

Short of a large influx of new candidates Monday, most local and state races in Ravalli County will be decided in June’s primary election.

As of Friday afternoon, only two Democrats had filed in state legislative races.

The only contest in county races was between incumbent Justice of the Peace Jim Bailey and former county sheriff Perry Johnson.

The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. Monday, March 12.

Ravalli County Election Administrator Regina Plettenberg said it’s not unusual for candidates to file on the last day.

“We really won’t know until the office officially closes Monday,” Plettenberg said. “There could be a few more people filing that day.”

As it stands now, the transition of the county commission going from five members to three could essentially be decided Monday.

On Friday, the only people who had filed for the office were three incumbents – Greg Chilcott, Jeff Burrows and Chris Hoffman. Short of an unusually strong write-in candidacy in the general election, the three Republicans would be the first on the new smaller board starting in 2019 if no one else files Monday.

In 2016, Ravalli County residents voted to return to the more traditional three-member commission by a 71 percent margin.

In order to stagger the terms of the three-member commission, one of the three will serve a two-year term. The others will be elected to four-year terms.

Commissioner Jeff Burrows said the decision hasn’t been made yet on which commissioner will be selected for the shorter term.

The study group that recommended the size of the commission be reduced and developed a transition plan suggested the three newly elected commissioners would draw lots. The loser would serve the two-year term.

On the state legislative side, House incumbents Theresa Manzella and Nancy Ballance were unopposed as of Friday.

Overall, the upcoming election has been relatively quiet in Ravalli County, Plettenberg said.

“I think after so many year of controversy in the county, it seems like county government appears to be in a good place right now,” she said. “I don’t think we’re hearing the amount of discontent that we’ve heard in the past. That’s not saying there isn’t any grumbling, but overall it just seems quieter. That’s a nice place to be.”

As of Friday afternoon, candidate filings include:

*Regina Plettenberg, Republican, Clerk and Recorder, Election Administrator/Superintendent of Schools

*Bill Fulbright, Republican, County Attorney

*Greg Chilcott, Republican, County Commissioner, District 1

*Chris Hoffman, Republican, County Commissioner, District 2

*Jeff Burrows, Republican, County Commissioner, District 3

*Daniel Whitesitt, Republican, County Treasurer/Assessor/Surveyor

*Steve Holton, Republican, Sheriff/Coroner

*Jennifer Bedey Ray, Justice of the Peace, Dept. 1

*Jim Bailey, incumbent, Justice of the Peace, Dept. 2

*Perry Johnson, Justice of the Peace, Dept. 2

Ravalli County state legislative candidate filings include:

*Patrick “Pat” Connell, Republican, incumbent, Senate District 43

*Jason W. Ellsworth, Republican, Senate District 43

*Scott Roy McLean, Republican, Senate District 43

*Theresa Manzella, Republican, incumbent, House District 85

*David Bedey, Republican, House District 86

*Jacob DeVries, Republican, House District 86

*Jason F. Nickisch, Democrat, House District 86

*Nancy Ballance, Republican, incumbent, House District 87

*James (Jim) Crews, Republican, House District 88

*Margaret Gorski, Democrat, House District 88

*Sharon Greef, Republican, House District 88

*Kim Stoltz, Republican, House District 88.


Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.