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4 from Flathead vie for western U.S. House seat

by JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
Daily Inter Lake | March 13, 2022 1:00 AM

With just Monday remaining for candidates to file, four from Flathead County have so far entered a now brimming race for western Montana’s U.S. House District 1 seat.

Flathead Republicans Al Olszewski, Mary Todd, Mitch Heuer and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke so far have offered their names to the voting public, according to filings as of Saturday with the Secretary of State.

They currently face Democrat Cora Neumann of Bozeman, as well as Republican Matt Jette and Democrat Monica Tranel, both of Missoula.

Incumbent Republican Matt Rosendale will term out of the current at-large U.S. House seat for the Montana delegation. He has filed for reelection for the new U.S. House District 2 seat.

In that race, he faces equally packed runnings that include Democrats Skylar Williams and Penny Ronning, and Republican Kyle Austin, each of Billings; Bozeman Republican James Boyette; Philipsburg Democrat Mark Sweeney; and Helena Republican Charles Walking Child.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Michael Cuffe of Eureka remains unopposed in Senate District 1.

The Senate District 4 race now offers a three-way contest among Whitefish Republican John Fuller; Kyle Waterman, a Kalispell Democrat; and Lee Huestis, a Kalispell Republican.

In Senate District 5, Bigfork Republican Mark Noland now faces Rob Tracy, also a Bigfork Republican.

For regional Montana House of Representatives races, Libby’s incumbent Republican state Rep. Steve Gunderson remains unopposed in House District 1.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Neil Duram of Eureka has filed again for House District 2, now also running uncontested.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Braxton Mitchell of Columbia Falls has filed again for House District 3 and now faces Columbia Falls Democrat Andrea Getts.

In House District 4, incumbent state Rep. Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, remains unopposed.

Incumbent state Rep. Dave Fern, a Whitefish Democrat, currently faces West Glacier Republican Katherine Butterfield for the House District 5 seat.

Incumbent Republican state Rep. Amy Regier of Kalispell has filed again for House District 6, now facing Brian Owens, a Whitefish Republican.

Republicans Dave Ingram and Courtenay Sprunger, both of Kalispell, have filed so far for Flathead County’s House District 7 seat.

In House District 8, a three-way Republican race currently is between David Dunn of Whitefish, and Terry Falk and Mark Twichel, both of Kalispell.

Another three-way race is set in House District 9 among David August, Tony Brockman and Constance Neumann, all Kalispell Republicans.

In House District 10, Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork, currently is running unopposed.

House District 11 now holds three candidates vying for the seat: Devon Decker, R-Kalispell; Ronalee Skees, R-Kalispell; and Tanner Smith, R-Lakeside.

Polson’s incumbent Republican state Rep. Linda Reksten remains unopposed for House District 12.

Lastly for the region, in House District 13, incumbent Republican state Rep. Paul Fielder of Thompson Falls now faces contender Colleen Hinds, a Heron Democrat.

For nonlegislative state seats, Kalispell Republican Dr. Ann Bukacek is running for the Public Service Commission’s District 5 seat. Bukacek faces Republican Derek Skees of Kalispell, Democrat Kevin Hamm of East Helena, and Republican Joe Dooling of Helena.

Incumbent Judge Dan Wilson of Kalispell remains unopposed for 11th Judicial District Court, Department 4.

Danni Coffman of Kalispell remains unopposed for 11th Judicial District Court, Department 5.

Incumbent Judge Matthew Cuffe of Libby currently is running unopposed for 19th District Court, Department 1.

Reporter John McLaughlin can be reached at 758-4439 or jmclaughlin@dailyinterlake.com

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