After 22 rounds of voting and numerous comments voicing frustration over the selection process, the Missoula City Council selected council member Jordan Hess to serve as Missoula’s mayor until 2023 during a meeting Monday.
Council selected Hess out of a pool of six mayoral finalists: Mike Nugent, Teigan Avery, Jacob Elder, Patrick Weasel Head and Fred Rice.
“We need to have a mayor, we need to have a leader and part of that is being willing to say now’s maybe not the time,” said a tearful Nugent as he announced his intention to vote for Hess.
In the 22nd round of voting well after 11 p.m. Monday night, the final vote was Hess, Nugent, Amber Sherrill, Sandra Vasecka, Stacie Anderson, Mirtha Becerra and John Contos in support of Hess. Gwen Jones, Kristen Jordan, Jennifer Savage and Heidi West voted for Nugent. Daniel Carlino voted for Fred Rice.
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Nugent’s decision to concede the vote came after a 15-minute recess stretched over an hour and the two leading candidates met in an alley outside the council chambers to find a way forward from a voting impasse.