Barron wins 3rd term on commission

by MATT BALDWIN
Lake County Leader | June 3, 2020 11:32 AM

Lake County voters on June 2 gave incumbent County Commissioner Bill Barron a third term in office.

Barron edged challenger Cory Knutson in the Republican primary election, garnering 3,008 votes compared to Knutson’s 2,707. There is no Democratic challenger in the general election in November.

Barron had a 30-year career in law enforcement and previously served as Lake County sheriff for two terms before being elected county commissioner.

He said he’s still got a lot of energy to put into the job and is excited to keep working on issues facing the county.

“I think I’m making a difference,” Barron told the Leader on Wednesday. “I’m going to keep working at it, and keep going.”

A few top priorities will be two major road projects in the works and getting the economy back on track after the covid-related closures.

Barron congratulated his opponent Knutson on a good, tough campaign.

“He’s a great guy and it was very clean race,” Barron said, noting that it was a different campaign with the challenges of coronavirus.

“It opened the door for the all-mail ballot,” Barron said. “That put an extra 5,000 voters in the system that [don’t usually vote].”

“Cory comes from a well-like and successful family in the community. I figured it would be a tough election.”

Lake County commissioners serve six-year terms. Although each commissioner represents one district, all voters in the county elect the commissioners. Barron represents District 1 on the three-person board.

Republican primary voters in Lake County on Tuesday also choose House District 10’s Rep. Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, to appear on the ballot in the general election. Noland tallied 366 votes to top challenger Doug Mahlum’s 243 votes. Noland also won the majority in Flathead County and will now face Democrat Jennifer Allen in November.

In House District 93, Republican voters overwhelmingly supported Rep. Joe Read. The Ronan Republican took 1,175 votes to top challenger Ralph Foster’s 526 votes.

In statewide races, Lake County Republicans supported U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte’s bid for Montana governor. Gianforte had 2,809 votes, while Kalispell’s state Rep. Al Olszewski took second in Lake County with 1,934 votes. Attorney General Tim Fox was last with 1,391. Gianforte won the statewide vote tally and will face Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney in the general election.

Lake County Democrats went with Ronan native Rep. Shane Morigeau in the primary for state auditor. Morigeau also took the statewide vote tally, earning 61% support over Mike Winsor’s 39%.

Browning Democrat Rep. Marvin Weatherwax Jr., got the nod from Lake County Democrats in House District 15. Weatherwax topped challenger Nick White 352-253 in Tuesday’s primary. There is no Republican challenger in the general election.

Lake County Democrats favored Whitney Williams in the gubernatorial primary, although Williams was edged by Cooney in the statewide tally.

Final election results from Lake County in the June 2 primary. Total voter turnout 54%.

Democrat

President

Joseph R. Biden 3,038

Bernie Sanders 526

Elizabeth Warren 80

US Senator

Steve Bullock 3,795

Mike Knoles 62

John Mues 61

US Representative

Kathleen WIlliams 3,542

Tom Winter 313

Governor

Cooney/Schreiner 1,649

Williams/Mattelin 2,179

Secretary of state

Bryce Bennett 3,309

Attorney General

Kimberly Dudik 1,640

Raph Graybill 2,015

State Auditor

Shane Morigeau 2,847

Mike Winsor 734

Supt of public instruction

Melissa Romano 3,392

State SD47

Chase Porter Gay 1,069

State HD10

Jennifer Allen 249

State HD12

Gerry Browning 1,339

State HD 15

Marvin Weatherwax Jr. 352

Nick White 253

State HD93

Lisa Pavlock 1,110

Republican

President

Donald J Trump 5,536

US Senator

Steve Daines 4,946

John Brian Driscoll 458

Daniel Larson 481

US Representative

Joe Dooling 411

John Evankovich 99

Debra Lamm 361

Mark McGinley 170

Matt Rosendale 2,792

Corey Stapleton 2,103

Governor

Fox/Knokey 1,391

Gianforte/Juras 2,809

Olszewski/Bogner 1,934

Secretary of state

Bowen Greenwood 352

Christi Jaconsen 1,489

Brad Johnson 1,556

Kurt Johnson 286

Forrest Mandeville 479

Scott Sales 1,198

Attorney General

Jon Bennion 1,940

Austin Knudsen 3,431

State Auditor

Troy Downing 2,809

Nelly Nicol 915

Scott Tuxbury 1,645

Supt of public instruction

Elsie Arntzen 4,854

State SD6

Greg Hertz 2,306

State SD47

Dan Salomon 1,547

State HD10

Doug Mahlum 243

Mark Noland 366

State HD12

Linda Reksten 2,147

State HD93

Ralph Foster 526

Joe Read 1,175

Clerk of District Court

Lyn Platt Fricker 5,141

Commissioner District 1

Bill Barron 3,008

Cory Knutson 2,707