Lincoln County voters in Tuesday’s primary election effectively chose a new sheriff and District No. 3 commissioner, two races in which the Republican incumbents were opposed only from within their own party.
In the race for sheriff, Libby Police Sgt. Darren Short outpaced Sheriff Roby Bowe, garnering 70 percent of votes to Bowe’s 30 percent.
The race for commissioner in District No. 3 — Eureka and its environs — was closer. In that contest, newcomer Josh Letcher tipped sitting Commissioner Mile Cole, with 52 percent of votes to Cole’s 47 percent.
Bowe and Cole’s terms end Dec. 31.
Republican incumbents in three other county races are running for re-election altogether unopposed: Robin Benson for clerk and recorder; Marcia Boris for county attorney; and Steven Schnackenberg for coroner.
For county treasurer/superintendent of schools, Republican Sedaris Carlberg is running unopposed to replace Nancy Higgins, who is retiring.
Republican Mike Cuffe, current state representative for District 2, is running unopposed for District 1 state senator. Aiming to replace Cuffe is Republican Neil Duram, who faces no opposition.
There is a contest for state representative of District 1: Steve Gunderson, the Republican incumbent, versus Democrat Donald Coats.
In the non-partisan race for justice of the peace, sitting Judge Jay Sheffield has no challenger.
An exception to the rule, one race in the primary election — that of Lincoln County soil conservation supervisor, a non-partisan contest — will not proceed to the Nov. 6 general election. Mark Romey and Laura Garner, the top two vote-getters in a field of three that included Wayne Maahs, are the new supervisors.
Romey took 39 percent of the vote, Garner 31 percent and Maahs 29 percent.