Barnhart wins re-election in a landslide

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Columbia Falls Mayor Don Barnhart.

Columbia Falls incumbent mayor Don Barnhart won re-election by a landslide over challenger John Rallis Tuesday night. Barnhart received 562 votes, while Rallis got 75.

Rallis ran on a platform that would have abolished the city manager and made him a full-time mayor. He also wanted to raise business taxes and expand city hall.

Barnhart ran as an approachable mayor who is open to new ideas, while holding the line on city spending.

In the council race, Paula Robinson received the most votes with 509, Jenny Lovering had 466 and incumbent Michael Shepard 438, while Steve Duffy received 289.

The top three garner a seat on the city council.

Robinson was the former Flathead County Clerk and Recorder. This was her first time running for city council. Lovering and Shepard are incumbents. Duffy is a member of the city-county planning board.

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