If the first day of filing is any indication, interest is high in the state political offices up for grabs this year.
Filing opened Thursday, and by late afternoon there were candidates for most state legislative races in Flathead County. Contenders are mostly Republicans, but a few Democrats also have filed for legislative seats.
Among the incumbent lawmakers seeking re-election are Mark Blasdel, R-Kalispell, Senate District 4; Zac Perry, D-Hungry Horse, House District 3; Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, House District 4; Dave Fern, D-Whitefish, House District 5; Carl Glimm, R-Kila, House District 6; Frank Garner, R-Kalispell, House District 7; Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, House District 10; and Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, House District 11.
There are plenty of newcomers, too. Other local candidates who filed Thursday are Jennifer Allen, D-Kalispell, Senate District 5; Kwen Shirley, D-Kalispell, House District 4; John Fuller, R-Kalispell, House District 8; Warren Illi, R-Kalispell, House District 9.