A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

3 February 2018 — 1043 mst

More candidates file in the Flathead

Keith Stahlberg, Sid Daoud, and Gerald Cuvillier, filed for Flathead area legislative and county offices this week (master chart below).

Stahlberg, as expected, filed for Flathead County Sheriff. He’s been raising money and campaigning for months. He joins Cal Beringer, Brian Heino, and Jordan White, in the Republican primary. Sheriff Chuck Curry is retiring. Thus far, no Democrat has filed for sheriff, although Democrats have won the office not too many decades ago.

Daoud filed as a Libertarian in House District 8 (west Kalispell). John Fuller filed for the HD-8 GOP primary last month. No Democrat has yet filed for the district, which leans Republican but could be won by a strong Democrat running a strong campaign in a throw the Republican bums out election year.

Gerald Cuvillier, a mischief maker from Trout Creek who’s not really a Republican, filed for the Democratic primary in HD-13 (map), a small portion of which is in western Flathead County, near Marion.

Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents Rep. Zac Perry (HD-3, Columbia Falls) and Rep. Dave Fern (HD-5, Whitefish) have yet to file.

A Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Frank Garner in HD-7 (old downtown Kalispell) has yet to file. Steve Bullock carried HD-7 by a plurality in 2016, but received 613 fewer votes than Garner. The last Democrat to win the MT House seat there was Cheryl Steenson in 2008. She worked as hard as any candidate I’ve ever met, raising a ton of money and recruiting an army of volunteers, to beat incumbent Republican Craig Witte by less than 20 votes. A strong Democrat running a strong campaign, has a not unreasonable chance of riding a Democratic wave to victory over Garner.

I’ll update the chart below in a week. Legislative and state district filings are online at the Montana Secretary of State’s website. Flathead filings are available in PDF format at the Flathead County Elections Department.