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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Municipal elections are Tuesday

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Voters in Glendive and Richey will be choosing who will be leading their local governments in this Tuesday’s municipal election.

Glendive residents have a contested mayor’s race for the first time in 16 years, as long-time Mayor Jerry Jimison will look to beat back challenger Kevin Thompson. Jimison, already the longest-serving mayor in Glendive’s history, will be seeking his fifth term in office. Thompson also currently holds public office, having been elected to the Glendive Unified School Board in May 2016. A late addition to the mayor’s race is John Stonehocker, who filed as a write-in candidate. Stonehocker’s name will not appear printed on the ballot, but he is eligible for election as a write-in.

The Glendive City Council has two contested races out of the four council seats up for re-election.

The race for the Ward 4 council seat is the most crowded. Incumbent Councilman Rhett Coon is seeking his third term, looking to stave off a challenge from two other contenders. Coon’s challengers are Denny Malone, who works at the Glendive Chamber of Commerce, and MacKenzy Haggerty, a 19-year-old who graduated from Dawson County High School in May.

The other contested race is in Ward 3, where incumbent Councilman Doug Baker is seeking his second term. Baker’s name will be the only one to appear on the ballot in that race as his challenger, David Brown, filed late as a write-in candidate. Like Stonehocker, Brown’s name will not actually appear on the ballot, but he is eligible for election for Ward 3 voters who wish to write him in.

The other two Glendive council seats up for election drew no challengers and so the incumbents will win re-election by acclamation. In Ward 1, Councilwoman Betsey Hedrick will earn another term. In Ward 2, Councilwoman Avis Anderson, who was appointed to the council in the summer of 2016 to fill a vacancy, will earn a full four-year term of her own.

Glendive City Judge Kerry Burman is also running for re-election but faces no opposition, so like Hedrick and Anderson, she will win a new term by acclamation.

In Richey, two men are vying to take over as mayor of the community, as Harlyn Olson will face off against Bill Wehren. The Richey Town Council has one candidate running for it, Kirk Winhofer, who will win election by acclamation. Richey also has an open seat on its town council that no one filed to run for.

Mail-in ballots for the election have been out for weeks, but the polls will be open in Glendive Tuesday for those who have not voted by absentee ballot. The polls at the EPEC will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning and close at 8 p.m.

The Richey election is mail ballot only and there is no polling place.

For anyone who has filled out a mail-in ballot but hasn’t returned it yet, Dawson County Elections Administrator Leanne Cantrell stressed that those ballots need to be brought directly to the county courthouse at this point, not mailed, as all ballots must be in hand at the courthouse by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“That’s what we’re suggesting,” Cantrell said of the need for voters with unmailed ballots to drop them off directly at her office. “Otherwise, it might not get here in time.”

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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