Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Justice of the peace candidates

| September 15, 2022 12:00 AM

Michael Larson is still a general election candidate for Lake County Justice of the Peace.

On June 7 this year three qualified candidates vied to be one of the two to finish in the first two places in the primary election to advance to the November general election. The two are Rick Schoening and me, Michael (Mike) Larson.

Apparently, due to the fact two of the more high-profile races, Lake County Sheriff and Lake County Commissioner, had all Republicans with the winner of the primary being the automatic winner of the general election, thus the winner, there is an overwhelming assumption that the same happened in the non-partisan Justice of the Peace election, as we are listed as candidates of the same “party”.

The Lake County Leader began its May 26 issue just prior to the election “Three Republicans are vying to become Lake County’s next Justice of the Peace.” Thus, establishing a huge misunderstanding that I am not a general election candidate.

I have had well over three dozen people express sympathy for my loss. These people all know me, and I hope may have voted for me.

I was recently invited as the Polson city judge to an information, meet and greet of the newly elected member of the judicial branch and their associated staff, plus my opponent Rick Schoening, who was addressed on the formal invite as the “newly elected Lake County of the Peace" and he came! Apparently even he believes he has won. This gathering was with an entity that works actively with the courts and that misunderstood the reality of the election.

There was a lot of explaining in the press that the Republican winner in the two races and the uncontested Republicans had completed the election as winners. It is obvious a very large number of voters believe the same formula applies to the Justice of the Peace election.

I am making an effort to clarify that I am a very qualified and a definite general election candidate for Lake County Justice of the Peace. I am currently a sitting judge and am certified with the Montana Supreme Court to be a Justice of the Peace. I would extremely appreciate your support on Nov. 8.

Please make an effort to get familiar with the qualification of both candidates and make an informed choice.

Michael E. Larson is the Polson city judge and a 2022 Lake County Justice of the Peace general election candidate.

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