Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - With initial results released by the Missoula County Elections Office a few minutes after 8:00 p.m., political newcomer Andrea Davis has defeated Missoula City Councilor Mike Nugent to become only the second female mayor of Missoula.

KGVO News spoke to both Davis and Nugent not long after the first results were released; Davis at the traditional Democrat gathering place, the Union Club, while Nugent watched the results with friends and family at Paradise Falls.

Andrea Davis Elected as Missoula's New Mayor

Davis told KGVO that she was excited to see a cross-section of Missoulians vote her into office.

“We have Missoulians from young to old from just a whole cross section of this community here celebrating together,” began Davis. “People feel hopeful;  people feel excited. We're having a good time, and I feel wonderful, too. The (city) council has postponed the urban camping ordinance and that will be one of the major decisions as a city and community that we come together and come up with a solution for people that are living unsheltered as well as for residents in the community that have been seeking a solution. I'm going to say right now that we're going to be working on this issue for some time.”

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Opponent Mike Nugent Disappointed but Determined to Solve Problems

KGVO also spoke to Mike Nugent, who was understandably disappointed after a vigorous campaign to become Missoula’s Chief Executive.

“We're proud of the race we ran, and we have a lot of supporters that are proud of that, too,” said Nugent. “So, you know, it's a celebration no matter what the outcome. I think that I'm showing that I can work with everybody. I have a relationship with Andrea Davis that makes me confident that we can work together. Obviously the mayor's office is where I think the big budget changes come from, but there are a lot of initiatives that we've got to face and work on as a community and I'm happy to have to be part of that conversation.”

Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman expects Voter Turnout to be at 43 Percent

Missoula County Elections Administrator Bradley Seaman told KGVO News that the final voter turnout will be far greater than the dismal 18 percent for the municipal primary.

“We've been running our voter turnout compared to our ballot return rates,” said Seaman. “We've got about half of the ballots that we mailed out back in and our turnout was right at about 43 percent. So far as we accept more ballots, those numbers will continue to go up. So it tracks with our past history. It's higher than the national average, and it's lower than 50 percent.”

The new mayor will have to run again in two years after she completes the term of the late Mayor John Engen.

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Gallery Credit: Mike Smith

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