Lewis and Clark County candidate says decision to bump vote to November ‘unfair’

A decision to take three county races, two of them uncontested, for the primary and bump them to the general election ballot has drawn criticism from a county commission candidate, who said it denies him exposure to voters and favors the incumbent.

Joe Dooling

Joe Dooling is running for county commissioner in a nonpartisan race that features him and incumbent Andy Hunthausen. Their names would have automatically advanced from the June primary to the general election in November, as there are just two candidates on the ballot.

Connor Fitzpatrick, elections division supervisor for Lewis and Clark County, said there were four candidates in three county races this election cycle. The district court clerk and justice of the peace races were uncontested and there are the two candidates for the county commission races.

Those two commission candidates would have automatically advanced to the general election. He noted in 2022, there were three candidates for commission and county attorney, and both of those races were whittled down in the primary to two candidates for the general election.

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