Contested races emerge in municipal elections

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Municipal elections in November will feature contested races in all three of Flathead County’s incorporated cities.

After Monday’s filing deadline, Kalispell now has contested races in two of its four wards. In Ward 2, Sam Nunnally and Denise Frey are vying for the seat held by Wayne Saverud, who is not seeking re-election. In Ward 3, incumbent Rod Kuntz will be challenged by Ryan Hunter.

Kalispell council incumbent Kari Gabriel is running unopposed in Ward 1, and in Ward 4 Sid Daoud is unopposed for the seat held by Phil Guiffrida, who did not file for re-election.

Kalispell City Council members receive an annual salary of $5,000 plus a $900 stipend.

Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld is running unopposed for a third four-year term. Whitefish City Council seats currently held by Richard Hildner, Frank Sweeney and Katie Williams are open for the Nov. 5 election. Sweeney is the only incumbent who filed for re-election. All totaled there will be six candidates for the three open seats. Other candidates are Steve Qunell, Ben Davis, Harry “Hap” Peters, Rebecca Norton and Theresa “Terry” Petersen.

Whitefish council members receive no salary.

In Columbia Falls, City Council incumbents Doug Karper, John H. Piper and Darin Fisher have filed for re-election. They’ll be joined by challengers Clay Lundgren and Steve Hughes.

Columbia Falls council members receive a salary of $200 per month.

The election will be held Nov. 5.

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