Election season isn't for months, but right now there are two long-time Great Falls residents getting ready to run for mayor.
Current city commissioner Joe McKenney and former Cascade County undersheriff Cory Reeves have made official announcements, and both said the decision to run for mayor is a fairly new one and discussed the goals they want to accomplish should they be elected mayor.
McKenney is an entrepreneur and military veteran currently serving in his first term as city commissioner.
"Running for mayor wasn't on my short term agenda, maybe long term, but I certainly have some goals. At the top of the list is housing. We need more housing," McKenney said. "In the short term or next five years, we need 5000 housing units approximately. Another is safe neighborhoods. We need a fully staffed fire department. We need a fully staffed police department. There was a time we had 102 firefighters. Now we're down to less than 70. And then third is economic development that never stops. So those three topics will be my main issues."
Reeves is a former undersheriff for Cascade County and currently the director of Adlera Lab for Alluvion Health in Great Falls.
"I'm certainly not a career politician by any stretch but I think Great Falls is at a critical point. When I'm passionate about something, I go for it," Reeves said. "Public safety is critical to me. That's something I've been very vocal about since I've announced. I want to look at our infrastructure. I think city government should not hinder entrepreneurship or businesses coming to our community. So I really want to take a look at our zoning and permit processes to make sure that we are as flexible as we can be, which will enhance our growth in Great Falls."
We also contacted current mayor Bob Kelly for comment and he said over the phone that he plans to not seek re-election.
The city website says filing for municipal positions, including mayor, starts April 20th and ends June 19th.
The primary election is September 12th, and the general election is November 7th.
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