Missoula City Councilman Harlan Wells appears to have already grown antsy for a higher office. Wells has often cast an outsider vote on issues like the city’s eminent domain lawsuit for Mountain Water Company and the Reserve street pedestrian bridge, now he’s seeking the most powerful executive seat in the city.
"It is an announcement of an announcement because there are some legal restrictions I have to follow for the next year, but yeah let's just say I am 99.9% sure I will be running for mayor next year."
Wells says he’s announcing his intentions early, so that people can watch the votes at city hall carefully with a contrast in mind. He hopes the impending election may change the voting habits of the other city council members.
"By announcing that I am probably going to run for mayor, they now have to realize every action they do is going to have an opposite and equal reaction with the voters," said Wells. "My hope is that over the next 18 months, with this looming over them, they will be more measured in their direction."
Current Mayor John Engen, has been in office since 2006 and will have served in that role for a full decade by the time the election rolls around. If Engen decides to run again, it will likely be a tough battle for Wells, as Engen has a history of amassing a large amount of campaign cash compared to rival candidates.