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Familiar names vie for Libby county commissioner seat

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | March 18, 2022 7:00 AM

Libby area Republicans will pick between two men with plenty of previous experience as local elected officials to serve as their next representative to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.

Incumbent Brent Teske, who was appointed to replace Mark Peck on the board last year, and resident Stuart Crismore have filled for the District 1 seat. Teske previously served as Libby’s mayor and before that as a city councilor. Crismore similarly boasts previous experience on Libby City Council.

No Democrat filed to run by the March 14 deadline. The primary is scheduled for June 7.

Jim Hammons, a Republican, is running for the other commissioner seat — representing the Troy District — on the ballot this year. There are no other official contenders for the seat, which is held by Jerry Bennett.

Hammons, a previous mayor of Troy, spent more than a decade as Libby’s city administrator. Commissioners last year named him county 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 only other contested local elected office is that of county coroner. Incumbent Steven Schnackenberg is facing a challenge from Terri Sanchez. The position is non-partisan.

Robin Benson is running unopposed for county clerk and recorder. Sedaris Carlberg is the sole contender for county treasurer. Similarly, Marcia Boris and Darren Short are running without opponents for the positions of county attorney and sheriff, respectively. Taralee McFadden is the only individual to file for county superintendent.

All are incumbents and running as Republicans.

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

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

In statewide races, Sen. Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka), who was first in line to file for his final term in Helena this year, is running unopposed for reelection.