People. Progress. Results.

Missoula voters stick with progressives in City Council races

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on November 05, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Originally published in the Missoulian on November 4 by Tom Bauer.

Voters across Missoula stayed the progressive course by electing a new crop of left-leaning candidates – four of them women – to the nonpartisan City Council on Tuesday night.

While hopeful heading into the general election, conservatives failed to make any gains on the council.

Missoula County Republicans endorsed five candidates this year, but only Harlan Wells won his race, defeating Jack Rowan by 1,216 votes to 1,064 in Ward 2, which encompasses the North Reserve and Grant Creek areas.

Wells takes over for outgoing conservative council member Adam Hertz.

 “We ran on one issue – property taxes – and it resonated,” Wells said Tuesday night. “I hope other council members take that to heart next time they’re working on the budget.”

Missoula County Democrats endorsed seven candidates this year. Five of them won City Council seats, including Heidi West, Gwen Jones, Julie Armstrong, Michelle Cares and John DiBari.

Celebrating at Clyde Coffee – the makeshift election center for several candidates and sitting City Council members Tuesday night – West said the voters in her ward expressed concerns ranging from safer bike lanes to more sidewalks.

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Michelle Cares, who won the City Council Ward 6 seat, is an alumnus of New Leaders Council. Cares attended the Montana Institute.