Havre Daily News
Credit union executive Gerry Veis handily defeated railroad conductor Dave Brewer for a seat on the Havre City Council, in the only contested race in Tuesday's primary election.
According to unofficial results, Veis received 92 votes on the Democratic ballot, while Brewer garnered 37. No Republican filed for the Ward 1 seat held by Democrat Dana West, who did not seek re-election, so Veis will run unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election.
Hill County Republican Party chair Brad Lotton said today the party has no plans for a write-in candidate in Ward 1.
"We're not planning anything at this time," he said. "If somebody comes forward, we'll take a look at it."
Veis said today he is happy with the win and ready to get to work.
"I think it's nice for the people to vote for me," Veis said. "Hopefully, I'll do a decent job for them in Ward 1. My goal is to get in there and help any way I possibly can."
He met with Brewer on Monday and the two candidates wished each other luck, he said.
"Dave's a pretty good guy," Veis said. "He works hard and does a good job for the community."
Brewer could not be reached for comment today.
With only one contested race, turnout was low. Only 524 people, or 13 percent of registered, voters went to the polls Tuesday.
On the Republican ballot, Havre Mayor Bob Rice received 220 votes citywide. The Democratic candidate for mayor, City Council member Pam Hillery, received 245 votes in her party's primary.
Hillery said today she attaches "very little" significance to those numbers.
"Obviously, when there's uncontested primaries, the turnout will be minimal," she said. "I'm glad the people that turned out, turned out. I know I need to work to get my name out there and my face out there."
Rice couldn't be reached for comment.
Hill County deputy election administrator Betty Williams said voters were given the choice of a Republican or Democratic ballot in the council and mayoral races. All voters were given the opportunity to vote in the judicial race because it is nonpartisan, she said.
Incumbent Havre City Judge Joyce Perszyk received 292 votes, and challenger Rozan Kerr got 218 votes. Both advance to the general election, Williams said. If there had been more than two candidates for judge, the top two vote-getters would have moved on, she added.
In the Ward 3 Democratic primary, Bob Kaul received 55 votes. In the Republican primary, Robert Kaftan received 43 votes. The two will face off in November for the seat held by Democrat Tom Farnham, who is not seeking re-election.
In Ward 4, Democrat incumbent Allen "Woody" Woodwick garnered 63 votes. Republican Shane Ford had 57 votes.
Like Hillery, Ford said he doesn't take much stock in those numbers.
"There's a lot of varying factors in that," he said today. "I've seen it go a lot of ways in the primaries. I don't think it really holds a lot of merit."
Ward 2 incumbent Terry Schend, a Republican, received 44 votes. He is unopposed in the general election.
Hill County Democratic Party chair Debi Friede could not be reached for comment about party plans for a write-in.
Votes will be canvassed Thursday and then an offical tally will be made, Williams said.
Residents who are not registered to vote have until Oct. 11 to register for the Nov. 8 election, she said.