Jerry from the Block

by Rebecca Schmitz

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own personal narrative of local politics, we forget to look past the obvious. For instance, in any discussion, liberal or conservative, certain members of City Council who vote together are seen as a solid entity. This is true whether it’s the “liberal-progressive” wing of the Council or the old war horses napping–literally–on the other side of the aisle. That’s why this is initially surprising:

I support her 100%. I believe she’ll be a great addition to the Council, and someone we can all work with.

That’s Councilman Jon Wilkins on Ward Four candidate Lyn Hellegaard. It’s on her latest campaign flyer, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday along with my voting ballot. Yes, it’s Ward Four’s Jon Wilkins–who’s usually mentioned in the same breath with his ward’s incumbent, Councilman Jerry Ballas, in any discussion of the voting patterns of the conservatives on Missoula’s City Council. Many see these two as part of the same voting block as Councilmen John Hendrickson, Dick Haines, Don Nicholson and (every now and again) Jack Reidy. I guess that block crumbles as easily as the bricks made from local clay in Missoula’s historic downtown buildings.

Jhwygirl asked, in her last post, if we know what we’re getting with Lyn. Thanks to this endorsement, I think we do.


  1. Wilkins earlier supported Alan Ault against Ballas. I’m not sure where the discord between those two comes from, but this sure is interesting.

  2. It would be interesting to find out the cause. I wonder if it has to do with fiscal conservatism, the centerpiece of Lyn’s (and Alan’s) campaign? That pool project sticks in some people’s craws.

  1. 1 City election stats « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] percentage of voters returning their ballots: 32 percent. This ward has two Republicans running (Jerry Ballas and Lynn Hellegard). Anyone have insights on why this ward is number one in […]




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