Experience, future plans separate Missoula mayoral candidates

Bret Anne Serbin

The City of Missoula’s search for a new mayor nears its final stages following the conclusion of a day-long set of interviews with six candidates Wednesday. 

The Montana League of Women Voters facilitated 50-minute interviews this week with Jacob Elder, Jordan Hess, Mike Nugent, Patrick Weasel Head, Teigan Avery and Fred Rice. The order of appearances was picked out of a hat.

The six candidates shared a number of similar approaches to policy questions posed during the interviews, but differed when it came to the experience they’d bring to the job and their future plans if they were appointed mayor.

It was unclear whether Elder, a law student, Hess, a current city councilmember and Rice, a former city councilmember would run for mayor in 2023 if appointed in September. Avery, a researcher at the University of Montana, and Nugent, a current city councilmember, both indicated they would run for mayor again in 2023. Weasel Head, a former city councilmember, said he would not plan on running for mayor in 2023 if appointed this fall. 

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The 10 questions candidates explored Wednesday centered on topics including

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