Written by Devon Boen
The election season was a long haul this year and one of the local races gaining the most attention was for the district two county commissioner’s seat.
Gary Macdonald, a former accountant and long-time politician, was re-elected after a strenuous campaign season. The official victory was announced in the wee hours of the morning when county employees determined he had secured enough votes to win.
His two opponents, Denver Atkinson and Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy Wade Creighton, put forth a lot of effort to try and take over Macdonald’s position. The two went door-to-door in order to connect with community members and increase name recognition, participated in a debate and presented their ideas and platforms to the public.
Atkinson and Creighton put in the hard work but it couldn’t trump Macdonald’s experience and community backing. Macdonald came out on top with 48.87 percent of the votes while Creighton received 30.15 percent and Atkinson had 20.25.
Macdonald has held the position for over a decade and campaigned as he generally has in the past by going door-to-door and speaking with community members. It was likely Macdonald had a distinct advantage over his opponents considering his long-running history as a county commissioner.
Macdonald opened up about why he believed he was re-elected.
“I’d like to say the people realize how well I worked with Fort Peck Tribes. I’d like to think it’s because they think I’ve been doing a good job for the last 13 years and they’d like me to continue,” Macdonald said.
With the election over, Macdonald returns his focus back to issues the county is currently facing. Macdonald is particularly concerned with protecting the interests of northeast Montana during the 2013 state legislature session.
“There are bills introduced that are, maybe, necessary for the western part of the state that is highly populated, but they tend to be negative for [eastern Montana]. So I’m just going to be prepared to be there and speak on it,” Macdonald said.
He said he would like to help ensure revenue from oil and gas taxes in the area stay local and aren’t re-allocated like certain members of the legislature currently want.
Macdonald seemed ready to face serious issues and was glad the re-election would give him the opportunity to do so. When asked if he had celebrated his victory, Macdonald said he hadn’t yet, but certainly would in the near future.