Familiar names filed for a range of Missoula County elected offices on Thursday when candidate filing opened for the 2018 elections.
County Commissioner Jean Curtiss will seek another six-year term in the position, which will be her fourth if elected. She will face a June Democratic primary against local farmer and University of Montana lecturer Josh Slotnick, who announced in December he would run for the job.
In addition to being a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Department at UM, Slotnick has run a family farm since 1992 and co-founded Garden City Harvest and the PEAS farm, according to a news release announcing his candidacy.
No Republicans, or any other Democrats, put in their name for county commissioner by the end of the first day of candidate filing, according to the Missoula County Elections Office. Candidates have until March 12 to enter the county races.
Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott and County Attorney Kirsten Pabst have both announced their intent to seek a second term in their respective positions. On Thursday McDermott officially filed, while Pabst did not. No other candidates filed in either race.
Three of the four district court judge positions that serve Missoula and Mineral counties are up for election this year. Those six-year term seats are currently held by John Larson, Robert “Dusty” Deschamps and Leslie Halligan, all of whom filed for re-election on Thursday. Halligan, who was appointed to the bench in 2015 by Gov. Steve Bullock, won the election in 2016 to serve the remainder of retired District Court Judge Ed McLean's term.
Missoula County voters will cast ballots for both of its justice of the peace positions this year as well. The positions are currently held by Marie Andersen, who was elected in 2014, and Landee Holloway — who was appointed in 2016 to replace the retiring Karen Orzech and won an election that year to serve the remainder of Orzech’s term. No candidates filed for justice of the peace on Thursday.
County Clerk and Recorder/Treasurer Tyler Gernant, a Democrat, was the only candidate to file in his race on opening day. Gernant won his first term in 2014 after running unopposed.
Dave Wall — former chief deputy auditor — was appointed interim county auditor after Barbara Berens retired in the spring after 15 years in the position. The auditor investigates claims presented to the county and examines internal books and accounts of other elected county officials and departments.
After he was appointed, Wall said he planned to run for a four-year term as county auditor in the 2018 election, and was the only candidate to file on Thursday.
No candidates filed Thursday for the job of county superintendent of schools, a post currently held by Erin Lipkind.