Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) Missoula voters were closer to narrowing the field of five mayoral candidates to two on Tuesday night, setting the stage for a November showdown.

Incumbent City Council member Mike Nugent and nonprofit director Andrea Davis were leading the field after the first batch of returns at 8:30 p.m. Davis had secured 6,600 votes and Nugent had garnered 4,400 votes in the all-mail election.

The three other candidates included sitting Mayor Jordan Hess, who had 2,540 votes, Shawn Knopp, who had earned 1,800 votes and Brandi Atanasoff, who had 167 votes.

At first count, only 15,580 ballots had been cast compared to 54,700 registered Missoula voters, suggesting a lackluster turnout.

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