KERIANN LYNCH and KARL KREMPEL
Marilyn Marler, a noxious weed specialist who knocked off Councilman Clayton Floyd Jr. in the Ward 6 City Council election Tuesday, said she hopes her victory will help restore civility to council politics.
“It’s appalling how much fighting and bullying has gone on in the council the past few years,” Marler said. “I’m known for being a people person and diplomat. My opponent has been neither for the past four years and that was the difference.”
Marler, who works for both the University of Montana and the City of Missoula as noxious weed specialist, received 790 votes, almost 60 percent of the total. Write-in candidates, led by Floyd, received 354 votes.
Floyd filed as a write-in candidate for re-election after an unsuccessful mayoral campaign that ended with his fourth place finish in the Sept. 13 primary.
Also on Tuesday's ballot in Ward 6 was Jeffrey-James Halvorson, who stopped campaigning after Floyd’s announcement and urged his supporters to vote for Floyd. However, Halvorson's name remained on the ballot and he received 181 votes Tuesday.
Floyd could not be reached for comment late Tuesday but said earlier in the day that the race would come down to whether residents thought Missoula had been on the right track for the past four years.
Marler said her appointment was indicative of voters' discontent and Ward 6's desire for change and better communication.