Meet your city council candidates - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Meet your city council candidates

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Following a record setting mail-in municipal primary election, the candidates for the general election are now in place.

Here's a look at the top two candidates for mayor and the candidates for city council who will be on the ballot in November.

Bill Cole and Jeff Essman are in a close race to become the next mayor. Both candidates served on the planning board together years before.

Bill Cole is excited for the city's future while Jeff Essman wants to return city council to its proper role.

Mike Yakawich and Charlie Smillie are representing Ward one. Smillie, born into a family of politics. He is the son of senator Margie MacDonald and  while his incumbent Mike Yakawich, a regional director for the Global Peace Foundation will run for re-election. 

In Ward two, Frank Ewalt is a retired firefighter and owns Ewalt Construction. Roger M. Gravgaard is a director for legal shield and also owns his own agency.

Nadja Brown and Denise Joy are running for Ward 3. Nadja Brown is a small business owner and a mother to three boys while Denise Joy works as a special needs assistant at Lewis and Clark middle school.

In ward three, Penny Ronning is head of a local organization that prevents human trafficking while her opponent George Blackard, a U.S. mlitary veteran is involved in local and state military vet organizations.

Dennis Ulvestad and  Shaun brown both represent ward 5. Dennis Ulvestad is co chair of the animal control board. Shaun brown is an independent business owner and is running for reelection. 

According to Yellowstone county election administrator  Bret Rutherford, more than 24-thousand ballots were returned on election day and while that was a record setting number, more than 31-thousand registered voters did *not* turn in a ballot. 

The general election is set for November 7th.