Two Ronan council candidates tie for position


Two Ronan council candidates tie for position

MISSOULA, Mont. - Two candidates in Ronan running for a seat in city council tied for the position.

It's not a common situation and, of course, there can only be one winner so NBC Montana headed to Ronan on Wednesday to find out what comes next.  

We asked city council-elect Roger Romero what his reaction was when he learned the vote was split 50-50.  
"I was actually really interested in what happens next," says Romero.  "I have never seen anything like that either."

Romero tells us he never expected he and his opponent would each receive exactly 51 votes apiece.

"It was surprising and now it's a little exciting, actually," he says.   

Romero's opponent, Tracy Morgieau-Frank, says at first the situation made her nervous but now she's excited to see what happens.

"With my students that I teach we talk a lot about voting and that if you don't vote you're not letting your voice be heard," says Morgieau-Frank.  "Especially in this situation, one vote matters and unfortunately now we're down to this so we move on."  

This afternoon NBC Montana spoke with Lake County election officials and they tell us the next step in the process will be to recount all of the votes for that council seat.  After that, if there's still a tie, the current Ronan city council members will choose which of the two candidates will join the council.

What happens if the four other councilmen vote and the decision is split?  In many cases it can come down to drawing a name out of a hat or flipping a coin.

"I read an article last night on the internet from, I think it was 2007, and it was a tied vote for two councilmen up in Whitefish," Romero tells us.  "They put it to the city council for a vote and it was a tie vote in the city council so they flipped a coin."  

Morgieau-Frank tells us if it came down to it, at least a coin flip is easy.

"Regardless of how this turns out I will serve my community in one way or another," says Morgieau-Frank.  "If it's on the city council, so be it.  If it's not on the city council there's so many other ways to be involved in our town that I'll continue to do so."   

The official recount is expected to happen Tuesday the 12th.  NBC Montana will let you know what happens.

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