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Missoula County’s election primaries will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14, elections officials announced on Tuesday.

Only three Missoula County contests will have primaries — the mayoral race as well as City Council wards 1 and 6. Four candidates have filed for mayor, four for Ward 1 and three for Ward 6.

However, Ward 6 will only have two candidates listed, as Madelein Owen did not meet all requirements ahead of the filing deadline. An elections office release said Ward 6 was still required to have a primary, though both candidates — Kristen Jordan and Tom Taylor — will move to the Nov. 2 general election regardless.

“We are excited to serve all voters in Missoula County,” Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman said in a news release. “We look forward to administering the City’s upcoming elections, and we’ll have public tours of the process for voters to better understand how elections are run in Montana and Missoula.”

John Engen, the incumbent, Jacob Elder, Greg Strandberg and Shawn Knopp are this cycle’s mayoral candidates. Engen is seeking his fifth term and is Missoula’s longest-serving mayor.

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Jen Savage, Kevin Hunt, Sheena Winterer and Jane VanFossen have filed for the Ward 1 council seat.

Ballots for the primary election will be mailed on Wednesday, Aug. 25 and have to be returned by 8 p.m. Sept. 14. Since the election is being conducted by mail following a Missoula City Council resolution, polling places will not be open on Election Day.

The deadline for regular voting registration is 5 p.m. Aug. 16. Late registration is available from Aug. 17 to Sept. 13, though all changes to voter registration must be done in-person at the Elections Center at 140 N. Russell Street.

Missoula residents can no longer register to vote or make changes to their voter registration on Election Day, due to changes in state law.

One seat from each Missoula ward is being contested this year. Council members are paid $1,249 per month — around $14,990 per year — and serve a four-year term. Six council seats are open this year.

Missoula’s mayor serves a four-year term and is paid $96,518 annually.

Jordan Hansen covers news and local government for the Missoulian. Shout at him on Twitter @jordyhansen or send him an email at

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