HELENA — Helena will have a contested mayoral election this year, as Mayor Wilmot Collins drew a challenger on the final day candidates could file for city elections.
Sonda Gaub filed as a mayoral candidate just over an hour before the close of filing on Monday. Collins, who was first elected in 2017, announced in March that he would run for a second four-year term.
Two seats on the Helena City Commission will be open, after incumbents Andres Haladay and Heather O’Loughlin did not file to run again. Four candidates joined the race to replace them:
· Steve Allen, a contractor and member of the Helena Citizens’ Council
· Eric Feaver, former head of the Montana Federation of Public Employees union
· Troy McGee, former chief of the Helena Police Department
· Melinda Reed, former executive director of the Friendship Center and interim city manager
All four candidates will appear on the same ballot. Each voter can choose up to two, and the top two finishers will be elected.
East Helena will have a three-way race for mayor. Incumbent Mayor James Schell filed for a third term on Monday. Two other candidates had already joined the race: Lori Erickson and Kelly Harris.
Three incumbent members of the East Helena City Council are running unopposed for reelection: Don Dahl and Judy Leland for four-year terms, and Wesley Feist for the remaining two years of the term he was appointed to fill last year.