Tuesday night county elections offices across Southwest Montana were busy counting ballots all day long. We have closely followed all of the municipal races especially in Gallatin County.
Final unofficial results Tuesday evening in Gallatin County show current city commissioner Carson Taylor has been elected mayor over his opponent John Duncan by a few thousand votes. We were at the elections office as both candidates kept their eyes on the results all evening.
When we spoke to Carson Taylor a couple of weeks ago, he told us his priority if elected was to maintain a thriving downtown, and high quality of live in Bozeman. He would also like to focus on infrastructure that the city is behind on and work on the climate action plan that was put together three years ago.
When the preliminary results were tallied, Carson said he was overjoyed with the outcome.
"I was gratified that many people voted for me and I hope I can live up to their expectations," said Taylor.
The final unofficial results showed Taylor received 5,599 votes while his opponent John Duncan received 1,957 votes.
Bozeman voters also had five candidates to choose from, all of them hoping to fill one of two spots on the city commission. Final unoffical results show current commissioner Chris Mehl is the front runner with 4,250 votes. I-Ho Pomeroy is slated for the second seat on the commission with 3,511 votes. While Al Kesselheim is only a couple hundred votes behind that at 3,244. Kesselheim is followed by Brett Potter at 2,501 and Alisa Voris with 430.
Tuesday evening front runner Chris Mehl told us he is looking forward to another term as commissioner.
"It is really humbling when people vote for you and ask you to serve. That is the biggest feeling right now, the responsibility we have going forward. People are entrusting us with their money, quality of life and to make the right decisions. We take that seriously and will do the best we can," said Mehl.
Bozeman voters also checked yes or no on a Gallatin College mill levy. The voters ended up approving the measure. It will raise just below $370,000 for the two year college and increase taxes by $4.15 on a $200,000 home.
Bob Hietala is the Dean of Gallatin College. He was at the Gallatin County elections office Tuesday evening as preliminary numbers came in.
"We are very pleased. The voters in Gallatin County seem to recognize the importance of two year education, and support our plans to really build this comprehensive two year college to meet the needs of the community," said Hietala.