ballot

The filing window closed last month for people seeking to run for municipal councils across the Gallatin Valley, and this election every town will have at least one contested race, according to Gallatin County Election Department records.

The vote is out a ways with a Nov. 7 election, and ballots will be mailed 15-20 days before the date, said Charlotte Mills, County Clerk and Recorder.

In Belgrade, two out of three wards for the Belgrade City Council will see a race. The city is divided into three wards of roughly 2,500 residents each. Council members serve a four-year term.

Incumbent Ken Smith will face newcomer Sarah Ude for Ward 1 – an area northwest of Belgrade High School.

Smith has served on the council since Nov. 2013 and has a history of fiscally conservative votes on city issues. Ude is currently on the Belgrade Parks and Recreation Board and is active in other civic endeavors.

In Ward 3, longtime councilman Brad Cooper will face Jeannie Brown. Ward 3 is the area south of the railroad tracks.

Cooper is a veteran council member and has the longest term. He started June, 1989. Cooper is often the lone ‘No’ vote on the council. Brown has run, and lost, for state and city races in the past. She is a frequent contributor to the Belgrade News opinion page.

Councilwoman Kristine Menicucci is unopposed in Ward 2 – a strip of area just north of railroad tracks to Belgrade High School. She has sat on the council since December, 2013.

Mayor Russ Nelson is also running unopposed. He has held the mayoral spot since August, 2003.

In Manhattan, elections are an open affair and the highest vote getter takes the seat. There are three people running for two seats on the Manhattan Town Council. Members serve four years.

Incumbents Dan Ryan and Greg Schack threw their hats in the ring with newcomer Demian Eichele. Mayor David Rowell is running unopposed.

Out in Three Forks, a mayoral showdown is taking place against current Mayor Steve Hamilton and long-time former Mayor Gene Townsend.

Hamilton beat Townsend in the November, 2013 election. Mayors serve four years.

Incumbents George Chancellor and Dennis Nelson will be sworn in without any competition. A third seat is still open for the Three Forks City Council, and will likely be appointed.

In Bozeman, there’s a mayoral challenge between Chris Mehl and Brian LaMeres.

Five people are running for two seats on the Bozeman City Commission. I-Ho Pomeroy is the lone incumbent seeking another four-year term. Newcomers Heide Arneson, Doug Chandler, Terry Cunningham and Matt Saporito have filed.

Down in West Yellowstone, eight candidates are running for three open seats.