Voters on Tuesday in Choteau elected Chris Hindoien as the new mayor and Steve Howard as a new councilman and in Dutton re-elected incumbent Councilman Bob Dauwalder and elected newcomer Kara Fuhringer to the Town Council, according to unofficial election results from Teton County Election Administrator Paula Jaconetty.
Choteau and Dutton conducted their municipal elections by mail ballot and Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. was the deadline to return ballots to be counted. Jaconetty’s six-person counting board arrived at the Teton County Courthouse late Tuesday afternoon to begin tabulating the votes. The count board was able to use automated ballot-counting machines for Choteau’s election, but had to count the Dutton ballots by hand because of two write-in candidates, whose names were not printed on the ballots.
Jaconetty’s office on Oct. 17 sent out 189 ballots to Dutton registered voters and 1,166 ballots to Choteau voters (593 to Ward I and 573 to Ward II). Voter turnout in Choteau was 68 percent of active voters in Ward I and 66 percent of active voters in Ward II. Turnout in Dutton was 58 percent of active voters.
The winners in the election will start their new terms in office on Jan. 1.
Unofficial results for the Choteau election are:
•For mayor — Chris Hindoien, 351 votes; incumbent Mayor Dan Lannen, 311 votes; and Nate White, 48 votes.
•For Ward I City Council (one seat) — Steve Howard, 242 votes; Charlie Joslyn Jr., 80 votes; and Lonnie Lewis, 45 votes. The winner will replace Councilwoman Jill Owen, who did not run for reelection.
•For Ward II City Council position — Incumbent Steve Dogiakos (unopposed), 252 votes.
Unofficial results for the Dutton election are:
•For Town Council, for two four-year terms: Incumbent Bob Dauwalder, 46 votes; write-in candidate Kara Fuhringer, 58 votes; write-in candidate Dorothy Klein, 33 votes. The top two vote getters win the two seats; incumbent Councilwoman Candace Ellsworth did not seek reelection.
•For Town Council, for one two-year term: Incumbent Pat Bayala (unopposed), 82 votes.