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Historic results and a shakeup in the Missoula and Bozeman mayor’s elections



Missoula, Montana – Andrea Davis, who was elected to the mayor’s office on Tuesday, will take office later this month, becoming the first female mayor of Missoula since 1947.

Voters on Tuesday decisively supported Davis, the director of the nonprofit housing organization Homeword, over Mike Nugent, a councilor for Missoula City and realtor.

According to The Daily Montanan, there was also a shift in Bozeman’s mayoralty contest, as Joey Morrison, a tenant rights advocate, defeated 13-term incumbent Cyndy Andrus and a local attorney.

Mayor John Engen of Missoula passed away in August 2022 from pancreatic cancer, having led his community for a record 200 months.

Davis stated on Wednesday that the result was still becoming clear to her.

“This is the first time that Missoula has had this robust of a civic conversation around leadership and who they want to lead their city,” Davis said.

After the elections, which are set for November 20, she will take office and serve out the remainder of Engen’s term. She stated that her first task will be to meet with the top brass of the city.

“These are folks that have been working tirelessly to keep the city functioning and managing all departments,” Davis said. “And I know this is a group of people that have also had a lot of transition in their lives, so I’m eager to sit down with them and hear their perspectives and learn from them.”

Juliet Gregory was elected mayor of Missoula in 1947; historical accounts state that her administration’s installation of parking meters downtown displeased locals.

Davis stated that she is aware that her expertise, qualifications, and unique perspective are the reasons why people voted for her. She clarified that she is a woman, though, and that she had received calls congratulating her on the historic victory.

“‘You realize you’ve made history,’” Davis said people tell her. “And it is weird to say that, but it’s true … (and) I am so honored to be a part of that story for Missoula.”

Regarding urgent matters, she stated that the Missoula City Council decided to delay a vote regarding amending an ordinance to bring the city into compliance with the ruling on urban camping made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, that matter will take center stage in December.

In 2018, the Ninth Circuit ruled that if a city lacks adequate accommodations for homeless persons, they cannot be penalized for sleeping in public areas.

Davis added that she will be collaborating on property taxes with neighboring Montana cities. Regarding how local and state jurisdictions collect and pay for services, local governments (counties and cities) and the state have fought; at least three relevant litigation are presently underway.

Morrison stated that it’s difficult to find words that “represent what this victory means for our city” in a Facebook post from Bozeman. Morrison has been referred to by Bozeman Tenants United, which he assisted in founding, as a champion of the working class.

According to the city law, Morrison, 28, will take office as mayor in 2026 after serving as deputy mayor for two years, as reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Some of the most costly and least accessible homes in Montana may be found in Bozeman.

Zillow says the median rent is $2,350. According to the Bozeman Real Estate Group, the median price of a single-family home is $936,250, and the median price of a condo is $540,000.

Morrison said in a social media post that although he was raised in Miles City, his residence is in Bozeman. He claimed to have witnessed the exploitation of wealthy areas of the state and the disregard for economically struggling areas throughout the years.

“I dream about a working class that determines the present and future of Montana, that decides every election, that occupies every elected body because, to me, that is the only way we get to a livable world for not just ourselves but for future generations,” Morrison said.


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