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Strohmaier defeats Geery, wins seat as Missoula County commissioner

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Dave Strohmaier awaits election returns at a watch party in downtown Missoula on Tuesday night. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)

By Martin Kidston

Former Missoula City Council member and Democrat Dave Strohmaier took an early lead and kept it on Tuesday in his bid to become the next Missoula County commissioner.

Strohmaier received 25,978 votes to Republican Todd Geery’s 19,470, giving him a solid 57 to 42 percent victory.

“I feel pretty good,” Strohmaier said at an election watch party in downtown Missoula. “I have a great deal of gratitude to all my supporters, and hat’s off to Todd Geery, my opponent in the race. I found him to be a gentleman and someone I found a lot in common with.”

Strohmaier announced his candidacy back in March and took on fellow Democrat Stacy Rye, who was appointed to the position after former commissioner Bill Carey retired.

Strohmaier edged Rye in the June primary by a 52 to 47 percent margin.

“It’s been a long slog,” Strohmaier said. “These races, in my estimation, go on way too long. By today, residents of Missoula County are tired of the campaigning. It’s good to get some closure and resolution to the campaign.”

Strohmaier ran on a five-point plan he released early in his campaign, including leadership, conservation, planning and development. Human rights and social justice also play into his agenda.

Strohmaier, who currently serves as a project manager with Historical Research Associates, plans to work closely with constituents, staff and community organizations to implement the county’s plans for a new fairgrounds, and to promote economic development.

“There’s an effort underway to revive the 40-year-old zoning regulations for the county, and I think that’s a good thing,” Strohmaier said. “I look forward to working with other commissioners to make that happen.”

Contact reporter Martin Kidston at info@missoulacurrent.com