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A long night for political veterans and newbies

Many public figures' faces were seen at their respective party headquarters Tuesday night to show their support for mayoral candidates Tim Solomon and Bob Rice.

Democrats met at the Eagle's Club and the Republicans met at the Duck Inn to await the results of Havre's residents' ultimate decisions.

Solomon re-elected; Rice defeated again

Former Mayor Bob Rice's supporters and followers began filing into the Vineyard Room of the Duck Inn around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday night to visit with each other and wait for the results of the election. Rice showed up a little after 9 p.m.

State Rep. Kris Hansen, Ward 4 Councilperson Andrew Brekke, Ward 4 candidate Matthew Boucher and others were there to show their support for their choice of candidate for mayor of Havre at the Republican headquarters.

Rice said he was not nervous about the outcome of the mayoral race.

"It'll turn out the way it's supposed to," Rice said.

Rice said he was in favor of the referendum to have nonpartisan elections.

"It keeps good people from running," Rice said.

He gave examples from past partisan elections of people reacting to campaign signs in shopfronts and houses.

He also added that his signs this year have not been as vandalised or stolen as in his past campaigns.

"This campaign has been pretty quiet," Rice said, adding that only five of his signs had been stolen this year.

At the Eagle's Club, Solomon and his supporters were in full force at 8 p.m. State Sen. Greg Jergeson, councilpersons Woody Woodwick and Jerry Veis and city clerk Doug Kaercher were some of the more well-known people occupying the Democratic headquarters at the Eagle's Club.

"I'm a little nervous, but we'll see," Solomon said about his feelings about the upcoming preliminary count.

Solomon said he thought the referendum would go through.

"Based on conversations I've had with people, I think it will pass," Solomon said.

Boucher gave Rice the news that Rice had not won the election after discovering the count on his smartphone.

As Rice's supporters heard the news, conversation died down. Rice sat at the head of a table to give his thanks to his friends and followers.

"That's how it goes," Rice said. "We gave it our best shot. Thanks to all of you for being here. I appreciate all those who were there for me."

Rice left the Duck Inn shortly thereafter.

"I never thought it would turn out like this," said Vineè Thompson, Rice's treasurer.

This is Rice's fifth campaign for mayor in Havre. After Tuesday's loss, Rice has won two out of his five races for mayor.

At the Eagle's Club, the Democratic headquarters was buzzing from the news.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Solomon said. "We're going to continue on with what we've been doing; a lot of stuff needs to be addressed. We're moving on with the capital improvement plan. I want to thank everyone for their support."

Boucher victorious; Datko pushed out of race

Matt Boucher, candidate for Ward 4 councilperson, was "waiting with anticipation" for the results of the election to come in.

"I've been told good things by good people, but I'm still nervous," Boucher said, at Republican headquarters

Datko said she was not nervous about the vote count for the Ward 4 elections.

"I'm an adult," Datko said. "It'd be nice to win, but I'll be OK."

Boucher, at the Duck Inn which was more sparsely populated after the announcement of Rice's defeat, said he could hardly stand the wait and was nervous to see what would happen.

When Boucher found out he was the newly elected Ward 4 councilperson, the mood in the Vineyard Room brightened a bit.

"I'm ecstatic," Boucher said. I couldn't have done near as much without everyone's support."

"I think he'll do a great job," Boucher's smiling wife said.

Boucher said he was excited about his upcoming role as councilperson.

"I'm going to start listening and learning," Boucher said. "I'll learn what I need to do to keep the city rolling."


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