Filing for county elections opens Jan. 13

The filing period for federal, state and county primary elections open Jan. 13 at 8 a.m.

Filing is open through March 14 for the June 7 primary for county seats.

On the county ballot this year are the county commission seats for District 1, a six-year term, which is currently held by Joe Briggs; and the unexpired term for the District 3 seat, currently held by Don Ryan for the remaining two years.

The District 3 seat was vacated by Jane Weber in January 2021 and the other two commissioners selected Ryan to fill the seat until the next election when he has to run to keep the seat.

The filing fee for commission seats is $342.65.

State delays implementation of new election management system

According to state statute, “a person may not be elected as a member of a board of county commissioners unless the person has resided in the county and the district for at least two years immediately preceding the general election,” to run for a county commission seat.

So far, both Briggs and Ryan have filed for their county commission seats with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.

Briggs has served on the commission since 2005.

Election 2021: Results

Lori Cox and Rae Grulkowski have also filed for county commission seats with the COPP.

Cox previously worked at Montana Expo Park when it was managed by a private management company and has been publicly critical of the county’s fairground operation.

Grulkowski has been a vocal opponent of the local effort to establish a National Heritage Area in the region.

County Commission disbands fair board

County sheriff is also on the ballot this year and incumbent Jesse Slaughter has filed with COPP, as has Jay Groskreutz, a county deputy.

Clerk and recorder, treasurer, county attorney, public administrator and justice of the peace are also on this year’s county ballot.

Rina Moore and Josh Racki have filed with the COPP to keep their seats as clerk and recorder and county attorney respectively.

Four school board seats on May ballot, filing opens Dec. 9.

Filing for school board seats opened in December and closes March 24 for the May 3 ballot.

Reiff appointed to school board; GFPS piloting arts programs; District concerned about teacher shortage

There are four seats are up for election:

  • Three seats that represent both elementary and secondary districts on the board for three years through  May 2025. Anyone interested in these positions must live within the Great Falls Public School District boundary. The positions are currently held by Mark Finnicum, Jeff Gray, and Gordon Johnson.
  • One seat, a one-year position to fill out the remainder of Jan Cahill’s term. Nathan Reiff was appointed by the board to fill the vacancy until the next regular election.

Trustees are required to call for an election by Feb. 22 with a resolution stating the date of the election, the purpose of the election, whether the election will be by mail or poll, and the voting locations.

By April 1, the board must pass a resolution stating levy amounts if the board decides to run a levy election. No such decision has been made yet. That’s also the deadline for trustees to declare the election by acclamation and cancel the election if the number of candidates filing is equal to or less than the number of open trustee positions.

So far, Finnicum and Gordon have filed to retain their seats.

Rodney Meyers has also filed for a school board seat.

For more information on local elections and the candidate packets, go to the county elections website.