Lewistown City Commission may see changes: four positions up for grabs in November election

Frank Gremaux
Beth Putnam
By: 
Charlie Denison
Reporter

By CHARLIE DENISON | Reporter

 

The special election for Montana’s vacant congressional seat has garnered a lot of attention around the state.

But, once on the other side of it, after Thursday, May 25, it’s time to start thinking about local elections, including the City of Lewistown’s City Commission seats.

“There are four commissioners up for re-election,” said City Manager Holly Phelps.

Commissioners Beth Putnam, Frank Gremaux, Patty Turk and Rick Poss are all up for election.

“That’s one in every ward, plus Poss, who is commissioner-at-large,” Phelps said.

And there is a good chance Lewistown will see new commissioners, as Putnam and Gremaux are considering not running for re-election this time around.

“I’m undecided,” said Putnam, a commissioner for eight years now. “I am curious who is going to run, and if I would let them have my ward.”

Alexzandra Dunnington, the former chairperson of the Lewistown City Government Study Commission, said she plans to file for City Commissioner. If she does, she’d be competing for Putnam’s seat.

Like Putnam, Gremaux is also uncertain.

“I’ve been at it for around eight and a half years,” he said. “I’m leaning toward ‘no.’ I’d kind of like to see someone else do it for a while. I can tell you, though, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.”

Turk told the News-Argus she is also uncertain about re-election.

“I’ve been a commissioner so long it’s difficult to know if I’m going to continue,” Turk said. “I’ve gone through three elections, and, when I started, I filled a vacated seat. It’s been 13 years.”

According to Fergus County Clerk and Recorder Rana Wichman, filing for City Commissioner opened Thursday, April 20. As of press time, no one had filed for the office, be it for re-election or to seek a first term. However, three people have filed for the Grass Range City Commission.

The deadline to file is Monday, June 19.

“There is a form for declaration of nomination and an oath of office people can get from our office or on the Secretary of State’s website,” Wichman said.

The Primary, if necessary, is Sept. 12, Wichman said, followed by the Nov. 7 general election, which will be done by mail.

“Any active registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail,” Wichman said. “They go out 20 days before the election and must be turned in by 8 p.m. the night of the election.”

As of press time, Poss could not be reached for comment.

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