Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Incumbents hold onto county seats, Colby, Hutton win in Blaine county

Pinoocci has strong lead in PSC race, Great Northern Fairgrounds levy passes


November 7, 2018

It was an election favoring incumbents in opposed county races in Tuesday’s election, with four incumbents in Hill and Blaine counties winning their races

Also, a request for funding for Hill County’s Great Northern Fairgrounds was approved by the voters, 3,425 in favor to 2,748 opposed.

And in the race for the seat in Public Service Commission District 1, in which Commissioner Travis Kavulla could not run for re-election due to term limiits, it appears to be a Republican victory.

With 119 of 142 precincts counted in that race, Sun River Republican Randy Pinocci led Havre Democrat Doug Kaercher 38,032 to 25,774.

Incumbents came on strong Tuesday. Hill County Justice of the Peace Audrey Barger handily held off a challenge from Bruce Grant in the non-partisan race to retain her seat. With all precincts reported, the unofficial count showed Barger with 4,495 votes and Grant with 1,240.

Hill County has about 100 provisional ballots which will not be counted until Tuesday.

In the race for Hill County treasurer/assessor, incumbent Democrat Sandy Brown held off a challenge from Republican Penny Hadford 3,956 to 2,122.

Incumbent Hill County Commissioner Mark Peterson fended off a challenge in his bid for re-election. He received 3,399 votes to independent candidate Dale Hansonl’s 2,566.

In the race for state judge in Judicial District 17 in Blaine, Phillips and Valley counties, incumbent District Judge Yvonne Laird fended off a close challenge from Peter Helland 4,531 to 3,772 with all 13 precincts reported.

In races for open seats in Blaine County, Sheriff’s Lt. John Colby, a Democrat, defeated Republican Undersheriff Frank Billmayer in the race for county sheriff/coroner. Incumbent Sheriff Glenn Huestis did not run for re-election.

And in the race to take the Blaine County Commission seat — formerly held by Charlie Kulbeck with Tom Fairbanks appointed to fill the seat to the end of the year when Kulbeck resigned — Republican Miles Hutton of Turner defeated Harlem Mayor and former state Sen. Ken “Kim” Hansen, a Democrat, 470 to 413.

All other county races in the region had unopposed incumbents running for re-election.

In Blaine County, Justice of the Peace Perry Miller, Clerk and Recorder/Assessor Tammy Williams, County Attorney Kelsey Whitney Harwood, Superintendent of Schools Valerie White and Treasurer Tori McLean all retained their seats.

In Chouteau County, Commissioner Robert Pasha, Clerk and Recorder Lana Claassen, Sheriff/Coroner Vern Burdick, County Attorney Stephen Gannon and Treasurer/Assessor Toni Frieling Eckhoff all retained their seats.

In Liberty County, Commissioner Larry Hendrickson; David Buffington, who won the primary for Liberty County clerk and recorder; County Attorney Robert Padmos; Superintendent of Schools Kathy Armstrong, and Treasurer/Assessor Denise Wanken won their seats in the unopposed races.


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