Missoula County narrows field of 40 election applicants to three

What began as a list of 40 applicants has been narrowed to three as Missoula County looks to name a new election administrator ahead of the 2018 voting season.

Commissioners last year opted to keep the election watchdog as an appointed position. They’ll begin interviews next week with the three finalists, including Dayna Causby, Michelle Denman and Bradley Seaman.

“We narrowed the field of candidates through a screening process that focused on elections administration, management and customer service experience,” Anne Hughes, the county’s communication’s director, said Wednesday.

After the field was narrowed, Hughes said a smaller pool of candidates was presented with a written exercise, paring the field of applicants down to seven.

A committee recommended the three current candidates, who interview with commissioners on Jan. 17. The interviews are open to the public.

“As with any leadership role in the public sector, we’re looking for a demonstrated commitment to customer service, strong knowledge of public process and public-sector management principles, not to mention experience with elections,” Hughes said.

“These are some pretty big shoes to fill,” she added. “Rebecca Connors set a high bar for administering elections in Missoula County and we’re committed to keeping it that way.”

Connors left her post after last year’s election to move back to Helena.

Here’s a snapshot of the finalists:

Dayna Causby

Causby serves as the director of elections in Shelby, North Carolina. After receiving a degree in business administration from Gardner-Webb University, she went on to a career in human resources management in several trade industries.

She began working elections in 2012 during North Carolina’s “No Excuse Absentee” early voting period. She received national CERA certification in 2015 and currently serves on several local community boards and committees, as well as state and national committees in the election industry.

Michelle Denman

Denman has called Missoula home since 2013. She currently works at Harris Govern, a public sector software company, where she works with treasurers and assessors throughout the U.S. as a software business analyst.

Prior to this, Denman worked with the Clark County Treasurer’s Office for 15 years as the tax service manager. She attended Gonzaga University and the University of Montana, where she studied communications and business management.

Bradley Seaman

Seaman currently serves as Missoula County’s elections supervisor. After receiving his political science degree from the University of Montana, he worked a number of political positions, including candidate and petition campaigns.

Seaman also has served on the Missoula County Election Advisory Committee and currently works with the Montana Election and Technology Advisory Council. He was born in Great Falls and started as a polling place manager in Missoula in 2008.