Dennis Hildebrand of Superior filed to run for Mineral County commissioner this week as a Republican.
So far, Dennis is the lone Republican candidate and Clark Conrow of Superior is the lone Democratic candidate for the central district seat being vacated by Jim Warnken.
"I have an interest in contributing to the county and the community that I live in," he said. "This is a good way to represent the individuals of the county and provide that service and access to the local county government," he said.
Dennis said running for county commissioner is an extension of many of the activities he is already pursuing.
He has been a volunteer EMT on the ambulance crew and volunteer firefighter with Superior Rural Fire District since moving to Superior in 1978. He has served as fire chief for the past eight years.
He is board supervisor of the Mineral County soil conservation district, chair of the county's local government study commission and was on the Superior study commission 10 years ago.
Dennis also serves on the Mineral County Resource Advisory Committee, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, and on the local Mineral County Resource Advisory Group, which advises the commissioners on public land management issues.
He is retired from 25 years of federal service, including military service in Vietnam, a few years at the U.S. Postal Service, and the remainder of his career with the U.S. Forest Service. He transferred to the Superior Ranger District in 1978 and served as a forestry technician, preparing timber sales on the ground.
Dennis said he has appeared often before the commissioners, and understands that the county is strictly limited in its powers by the state of Montana. The commissioners must go along with what the law permits.
"I've been the presenter on some of those issues that commissioners either agree with or don't agree with, and now I've been on the receiving end of people trying to do the same thing. I understand that and I'll make as wise a decision as possible," he said.
Still, there is some room for the commissioners to play a proactive role to help county taxpayers, he suggested.
"I don't mind being the one asking the questions," he said.
In other elections, Rep. Gordon Hendrick (R-Superior) is still the lone candidate declared in House District 14, which ranges from Frenchtown through Mineral County.
Marge Zaveta of Lolo filed to run as a Democrat in House District 100, which includes Petty Creek. The incumbent is Republican John Balyeat of Missoula.
County Attorney M. Shaun Donovan, Justice of the Peace Wanda James, Sheriff Hugh Hopwood, and Clerk and Recorder Kathy Jasper have filed for re-election.
Three candidates have filed to run for county treasurer, with Billye Ann “Toots” Bricker planning to retire after completing her current term of office. Anna Getz and Nancy Coles will contest in the primary for the right to run as a Democrat. Mary Yarnall has filed to run as a Republican.
Roger Hearst has filed, and Carole Johnson said she plans to file for reelection for the seats they currently hold on the Mineral Community Hospital board. The election will be held with school elections this spring.
The deadline for candidates filing for the hospital board is today, Feb. 16. Filing for state and county offices closes on March 23.