Candidates running for Choteau mayor and City Council positions will take part in a forum sponsored by the Choteau Acantha, Tuesday, Sept. 24, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Choteau Pavilion.
The candidates will answer questions from a moderator and from the audience and will give closing remarks. There is no cost to attend the forum. Coffee and cookies will be served. The program is expected to last about an hour and a half.
Races on the forum program are:
•Choteau mayor. Incumbent Mayor Dan Lannen is running for his first full four-year term as Choteau’s city executive. He is facing a challenge from Chris Hindoien and Nate White, both Choteau independent businessmen. The mayor’s position is part-time and is paid a stipend of $9,422 a year.
Lannen, 67, who served on the Choteau City Council for six years before being appointed mayor to complete the term of the late Jack Conatser, lives with his wife, Gloria, at 18 Second Ave. S.W. and has lived in Choteau for the past 31 years.
He worked in farming and ranching and for equipment dealerships through the years, including working at the John Deere dealership in Choteau for 31 years — a time that spanned six different owners. His jobs there included mechanics, customer service, sales and management. He retired from Frontline Ag Solutions earlier this year.
Hindoien, 53, resides at 1007 Seventh St. N.W., and has lived in Choteau fulltime since 2011. He also lived here from 1992 to 2000. Raised in Great Falls, he graduated from C.M. Russell High School in 1984 and attended Miles Community College, studying business and insurance.
He works full-time as a partner with his wife, Tammy, in Rocky Mountain Insurance Services, a business they established in 2016. Also since 2016 he has worked as the marketing coordinator for VFIS of Montana, a division of Glatfelter Insurance Group that specializes in providing insurance, education and consulting services to emergency service organizations such as fire departments, ambulance and rescue squads and 911 centers.
White resides at 204 Sixth Ave. N.E. in Choteau with his spouse, Nicole Pirro. He also has an 11-year-old son, Manou. White was raised in Michigan but has lived in Choteau for the past 11 years.
He has held a variety of jobs in the past and has also founded and operated two businesses, Nate White Masonry and Nate White Building and Design. He has exhibited and sold his own artwork and has also worked for Teton Pass, Great Divide, Missoula Snowbowl and Bridger Bowl ski areas.
White is working as a builder and writer/researcher and, in the winter, will coach skiers at various Montana ski areas.
•Choteau Ward I. Steve Howard, Charlie Joslyn and Lonnie Lewis are all running for this four-year term. The winner will replace Jill Owen, who is not seeking a new term.
Howard, 57, is a Choteau native who has lived here for the past 37 years. He is a self-employed plumber, doing business as Steve Howard Plumbing in Choteau and also works as a big game hunting guide in Montana and Alaska. He and his wife, Sara, reside at 417 Third St. N.E.
Joslyn, 60, just retired in from a 35-year career as a member of the Choteau Public Works Department. He has lived in Choteau (presently at the Gunther Apartments) for the past 50 years.
During his tenure with the city, he worked in all facets of the city’s public works program, including driving the garbage truck, doing parks and street work, working with the water and sewer systems and helping to maintain city structures.
Lewis and her husband, Kurt, live at 824 Eighth Ave. N.W. and have resided in Choteau for the past three years after relocating from Helena. She grew up in the Gallatin Valley and works from home in data analytics in the healthcare industry.
A graduate of Belgrade High School, she attended the Helena College of Technology and has previously worked in data analytics and banking. She and her husband have three grown sons.
•Choteau Ward II. Incumbent Steve Dogiakos, 34, is running unopposed for his second four-year term. Raised in Chicago, Illinois, he and his wife, Sandra, have lived in Choteau for the past eight years.
He has worked as a lobbyist, office manager and executive education program assistant and is currently a self-employed small business owner in Choteau. He is also a member of the Choteau Area Port Authority board.
The municipal election is being conducted by mail ballot this fall. Teton County election administrator Paula Jaconetty says ballots will be sent out to municipal voters on Oct. 17 and must be returned by Nov. 5.