GREAT FALLS — Tuesday's election results mean that Tracy Houck will retain her seat on the City Commission, and Rick Tryon will soon join her.
There were six candidates for two seats on the commission; here are the unofficial results:
- Rick Tryon: 5,047
- Tracy Houck: 4,830
- Bruce Pollington: 4,140
- Terry Thompson: 3,453
- Kim Rodriguez: 2,596
- Jasmine Taylor: 2,297
There were also 87 write-in votes.
Mayor Bob Kelly ran unopposed and garnered 11,062 votes; there were 383 write-in votes for mayor. Municipal Court Judge Steve Bolstad also ran unopposed and received 11,066 votes; there were 143 write-in votes.
“It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that people are standing behind you and supporting you along the way. And this was an interesting election, we had two open seats we had six people out there wanting to get the vote and it could have gone either way," said Houck.
Tryon said, “I’m not celebrating right now because it’s not about me, it’s about what the people in Great Falls really want and the changes they want to see."
He said that includes a more transparent government and more resources for addiction
“My first priority is to streamline the development process and reverse the reputation for not being a very business-friendly city."
Houck said, “We need to have development, one topic that everyone has been talking about. But how do we do it, at the same time we don’t give away things so recruiting new business, expanding the business we already have, rising that level of income that we are offering up for workers.”
Mayor Bob Kelley says it’s nice to have a fresh set of eyes and someone with experience: "“Commissioner Houck is returned so that’s nice because there’s always a lot to learn, it's always great to have a veteran in that seat, because there’s a lot to learn when you come on the commission. And Tryon who’s been paying close attention to city politics."
Here are the brief bios on Tryon and Houck from our recent extended interviews with the candidates:
- Rick Tryon was raised in Great Falls. He works part-time at Stray Moose Productions in Black Eagle and is also an independent web development consultant. Tryon has also worked as a semi-professional singer/songwriter. He also managed the Jack Club which his mother used to own. He's been married for 35 years. He and his wife have two grown daughters and three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. He's run twice before for the commission and also the state legislature. Tryon says Great Falls is struggling to remain stagnant when it comes to growth and needs to do more to live up to its potential. In addition to better jobs, he'd like to see less crime and more government transparency.
- Tracy Houck is seeking a second term on the commission. Houck has lived in Great Falls for 25 years. She has two children who also live in Great Falls. She is a graduate of Clarion University in Pennsylvania with a degree in communications focusing on non-profit marketing. She is currently working as a consultant but has extensive experience working with non-profits on the both local and state level. Some of the organizations she’s worked with include Voice of Hope, Gateway Community Services, and the Mental Health Center. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the Paris Gibson Square. Houck said she would like to see slow and stead growth that provides a bigger tax base which in turn will allow for more resources including public safety. She says the city has streamlined it process to allow for greater investment in community development, planning and public works. Houck likes different backgrounds on the current commission and says she’s not afraid to make tough decisions.