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Local farmer and University of Montana lecturer Josh Slotnick announced his candidacy for Missoula County Commissioner this week, almost a year before the election.

He noted in a news release that although filing doesn’t open until Jan. 11, he already was campaigning as a Democratic candidate.

Slotnick co-founded Garden City Harvest as well as the PEAS farm program at UM, where he’s a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Department. He’s run a family farm in Missoula County since 1992, according to the release.

“This next stage, to be a steward and leader for Missoula County citizens, is the right choice to make,” Slotnick said.

Slotnick’s filing would mean a summer 2018 primary race if current commissioner Jean Curtiss files for re-election as well.

Ward 6 City Council representative Marilyn Marler and former state senator Ron Erickson endorsed Slotnick in his initial statement.

Slotnick plans on visiting all the community councils, to learn neighborhood plans directly from locals, and wants to focus on providing for county residents “most in need.”

“We need to take a hard look at our current transportation plans, land use plans, energy policies, wage structures and rural community support systems,” Slotnick said. “We need to be smarter, we need to be proactive, work hard together and do a better job for our citizens.”

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City, County Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Missoulian.