Monday, April 22, 2024

Teske wins Republican primary for county commissioner

The Western News | June 14, 2022 7:00 AM

Incumbent Brent Teske won the Republican primary last week for the District 1 seat on the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.

Teske collected 2,160 votes to best his counterpart, Stu Crismore, by 140 votes.

Vote counting concluded Thursday after county officials had to hand count the ballots after a printing error rendered them unable to be read by a machine.

Vote totals are still unofficial and an election judge was coming in Monday to count provisional ballots.

Teske was appointed to replace Mark Peck on the board last year after Peck’s resignation. Teske previously served as Libby’s mayor and before that on city council. No Democrat filed to run. Republican Jim Hammons claimed the other commissioner seat — representing the Troy District — with 3,724 votes. The seat is currently held by Jerry Bennett, who did not run for re-election.

Hammons, a previous mayor of Troy, spent more than a decade as Libby’s city administrator.

Typically, only one commissioner seat appears on the ballot in a given election. Peck’s departure from the board just months into his second term left his fellow commissioners with the task of appointing a new representative to their ranks. Under the Montana Code Annotated, the appointed commissioner — in this case, Teske — serves until the next general election. The winner in November will then serve out the remaining four years of Peck’s original term.

The commissioner’s office seat was the only contested one in Lincoln County.

Coroner Steven Schnackenberg ran unopposed, as did clerk and recorder Robin Benson, treasurer Sedaris Carlberg, county attorney Marcia Boris, sheriff Darren Short and superintendent of schools Taralee McFadden.

All are incumbents and ran as Republicans.

Jay Sheffield, justice of the peace, also ran unopposed for reelection to the non-partisan position.

No one filed to run for the county’s public administrator position.

For the District Court Judge District 19, Department 1 seat, Matt Cuffe was unopposed for the non-partisan seat and won with 100% of the votes.

In statewide races, Sen. Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka), who was first in line to file for his final term in Helena this year, also ran unopposed for reelection and collected 100% of the votes.

For the state Representative seats, Steve Gunderson (District 1) and Neil A. Duram (District 2), each were unopposed and won with easily.

About 38% of registered voters in Lincoln County cast ballots. It was slightly lower than the 39.2% of voters across Montana who voted.