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Holmquist earns third term as county commissioner

by Daily Inter Lake
| November 10, 2022 12:00 PM

Republican Pam Holmquist will retain her seat on the Flathead County Commission.

She handily earned a third term on the commission, taking in 71% of the vote in Tuesday’s election. No Democrats filed for the position, but candidate Jack Fallon, who lost in the primary election in June, registered as a write-in candidate. There were 11,825 write-in votes cast, according to the county election department.

Holmquist tallied 28,266 votes with ballot counting wrapping up Wednesday afternoon. She serves District 2, which includes Evergreen and the southeast end of the county, though the election is a countywide vote.

Holmquist has said her political goals are to protect private property rights and take a fiscally conservative approach to the county’s budget.

Voter turnout in the county was 59% with 47,126 votes cast, according to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

Also in the election, voters approved a 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales, but rejected the same tax on medical marijuana sales. Seventy-three percent of votes were in favor of implementing the recreational marijuana excise tax. While the medical marijuana excise tax earned 51% against.

The tax on both types of sales has been estimated to bring in annual revenue of about $880,000 that would be distributed to the county and its municipalities.

County commissioners are expected to take public comment on where to direct funds from the tax, which is set to go into effect in February of 2023. State taxes on marijuana are set at 4% for medical marijuana and 20% for adult-use sales.

In a set of uncontested races in the county, Republicans retained their seats including Clerk and Recorder Debbie Pierson, Sheriff Brian Heino, County Attorney Travis Ahner and Treasurer Adele Krantz. Republican Cal Ketchum, who ran unopposed in the general election, was elected County Superintendent after the incumbent did not seek reelection.

In nonpartisan races, Justice of the Peace Eric Hummel and Justice of the Peace Paul Sullivan retained their seats while Flathead County District Court Judge Dan Wilson retained his position and Danni Coffman was elected to fill the new judgeship in district court.

Flathead County Commissioner

Pamela Holmquist (R) 28,266 (71%)

Write-in 11,825

Flathead Clerk and Recorder

Debbie Pierson (R) 36,323

Flathead County Sheriff

Brian Heino (R) 38,083

Flathead County Attorney

Travis Ahner (R) 35,141

Flathead County Superintendent

Cal Ketchum (R) 35,397

Flathead County Treasurer

Adele Krantz (R) 36,886

Flathead Justice of Peace Eric Hummel another term?

Yes 34,019

No 4,022

Flathead Justice of Peace Paul Sullivan another term?

Yes 33,745

No 4,775

Judge Dan Wilson of District 11

Yes 32,758

No 6,151

District Court Judge District 11, Dept 5

Danni Coffman 31,850

Flathead County local option non-medical marijuana tax

For 33,181

Against 12,562

Flathead County local option medical marijuana tax

For 22,364

Against 23,462