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Municipal incumbents re-elected

| November 10, 2005 11:00 PM

Libby Mayor Tony Berget handily won election to a third term in Tuesday's municipal election while Troy Mayor Jim Hammons, appointed in July, defeated Councilman Don Banning by a margin of more than 2-to-1.

Berget, who was first elected mayor in 1997 after serving two years on the city council, drew 244 votes to challenger William Dancer's 88. There were seven write-in votes cast. Under state law, write-ins for positions for which a candidate has filed are not counted unless someone has filed as a write-in candidate, explained county elections clerk Leigh Riggleman.

In Troy, Hammons defeated Banning 133 votes to 50, with one write-in. Hammons took over as mayor following the resignation of John Brown last summer. He had previously served on the city council from 1993 to 1998 and was elected again in 2004. Banning had served on the council since being appointed in 2000. His term expired this year.

Banning's seat on the council will be filled by Odie's Big Sky Cafe owner Larry Baker, who drew 110 votes. Councilwoman Laura Schrader won re-election with 131 votes. There were no other candidates for the two open seats, but 15 write-in votes were cast.

In Libby, three unchallenged incumbents won election to four-year terms. Lee Bothman drew 265 votes, Charlene Leckrone 257 and Wally McElmurry 264. There were 23 write-in votes cast.

Bothman has served on the council since being appointed in September 2003. Leckrone was initially appointed in September 2002 and won election to the two years left on the term in 2003. Wally McElmurry was appointed to the council in June 2003, lost his seat in the election that November and was appointed to fill another vacancy in early 2004.