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East Helena to pick city council member after election with no winner

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 21:21:55-05

EAST HELENA — East Helena leaders are set to pick the newest member of the city council Wednesday night.

The council will hold a special public meeting at 6:30 p.m. at East Helena City Hall. They will interview three candidates who applied to fill a vacant seat representing Ward 1 – the area south of Riggs Street. After the interviews, the three other councilmembers will appoint one of the candidates to the position.

The seat is open because no one filed as an official candidate in the November elections. The top valid write-in candidate, with three votes, was incumbent Kit Johnson. However, he declined to serve another term.

The unusual situation became part of a Wall Street Journal article in November, as an example of the difficulty some cities are facing in finding people to serve.

The candidates to replace Johnson are Joy Bowen, Casey Gilder and Jonathan Heslep. Bowen and Heslep each received two write-in votes during the November elections. Gilder was not a candidate in November.