UPDATED: Engen, Elder advance in mayoral race, Savage, VanFossen in Ward 1

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Missoula County election officials ready ballots from the city primary to be counted on Tuesday.

TOM BAUER, Missoulian Jordan Hansen

Incumbent Missoula mayor John Engen and challenger Jacob Elder advanced in the 2021 municipal primary after final election night totals were posted early Wednesday morning.

Jennifer Savage and Jane VanFossen will advance in the Ward 1 city council primary.

Two candidates in each race advance to the general election. 

In the all-mail-in election, early results were posted on Missoula County’s website shortly after collection centers closed their doors at 8 p.m. More ballots were released shortly after 9:30 p.m. and again early Wednesday morning.

Turnout was reported as 37.88% overall, with 21,272 total votes cast in the primary. Engen received 10,805 (51.1%) of the votes cast for mayor, while Elder received 5,524 (26.1%), Shawn Knopp 18.30% and Greg Strandberg 3.8%.

Mayoral primary

Engen, who is running for his fifth term, has been Missoula’s mayor since 2006. He is Missoula’s longest-serving mayor.

He has based his campaign around affordable housing and has routinely touted city

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