City primary canceled since two candidates didn’t file paperwork on time
There will not be a primary for the City Commission election.
The two candidates, Paige Turoski and Ken Cox, who did not file their paperwork with the state by the deadline will not have their names on the ballot, the county has determined.
State law requires that candidates file their C1A campaign forms with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices within five days of filing for office.
Turoski filed for office on April 22. She filed her paperwork with the state last week, according to the Cascade County elections office. The COPP certified her name, but the county attorney’s office ruled that her name will not go on the ballot since she didn’t file the paperwork within the five-day deadline.
She can still file as a write-in candidate and Lynn Deroche, county elections supervisor, said that she called and left a message for Turoksi, who hasn’t returned her call.
Cox did not file his paperwork with the state, is not certified and will need to file as a write-in candidate if he still intends to run, but will also need to file the state paperwork, Deroche said. He filed for office on May 7.
Write-in filing ends July 12 for commission and mayor seats. Any write-in names on the city ballot aren’t considered unless the person is a registered write-in candidate.
Since neither of those candidates are eligible to have their name on the ballot, that brings the number of certified candidates to six, meaning a primary won’t be held, Deroche said.
The six candidates who will be on the November ballot are: Joshua Copeland, Vanessa Hayden, Susan Wolff, Joe McKenney, Eric Hinebauch and Greg Schoby.
Filing closed June 21.
There are two candidates for mayor, incumbent Bob Kelly and former commissioner Fred Burow.
The general election will be by mail in November and ballots will be mailed Oct. 18.
Two City Commission seats, which are four year terms, and the mayor’s seat, which is a two-year term, are on this year’s ballot, plus all 45 neighborhood council seats.
Commissioners Mary Moe and Owen Robinson both opted not to seek re-election.
Burow, served two terms as a City Commissioner before dropping out of the race for reelection in 2017 and filed last week to challenge Bob Kelly, who is seeking a fourth term as mayor. Kelly was previously a city commissioner.
Each of the city’s nine Neighborhood Councils has five seats each for two-year terms. The write-in filing deadline for council candidate is 5 p.m. Aug. 30.
All newly elected officials take office in January.
Per city code, the salary of each commissioner is $312 per month and the mayor’s monthly salary is $468.
Anyone interested must complete a Declaration for Nomination and Oath of Candidacy form at the Cascade County Election Office, 325 2nd Ave. N.
To be eligible for any of the positions, candidates must be residents of the City of Great Falls and be registered to vote.
Those seeking a commission seat must be a resident of Great Falls for at least 60 days preceding the election. Mayoral candidates must be at least 21 years of age and have been a resident of Montana for at least three years and a resident of Great Falls for at least two years preceding the election, according to the City Clerk’s office.
Nominees for election to a Neighborhood Council must be residents of their designated neighborhood district.
The fees to file are $56.16 for mayor, $37.44 for commissioner and $0 for Neighborhood Council representatives.
The City of Great Falls operates under the Commission-Manager form of government and the commission serves as the city’s legislative and policy-making body. The commission employs the city manager who directs the daily operations of the city. Commission meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month.
In 1996, a Local Government Study Commission recommended the formation of Neighborhood Councils in Great Falls to provide opportunities for citizen involvement in city government. The proposal was placed on the ballot and was approved. Since that time, Neighborhood Councils have operated in an advisory capacity and as liaisons to city staff, the commission and residents. Neighborhood Council meetings take place monthly.
Additional information about the upcoming 2021 municipal election is available here or contact the Cascade County Election Office at 454-6803; Lisa Kunz, city clerk at 455-8451; or, Lanni Klasner, Neighborhood Council liaison, at 455-8496.