Political newcomer Josh Slotnick has upset three-term Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss in the June 5 primary, and since he will have no opponent on the general election ballot, Slotnick will assume the post on January 1, 2019.

KGVO News spoke with Slotnick after the preliminary results were released at about 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

“First, I am running for county commissioner because of my deep concern for the future of Missoula,” began Slotnick. “I was fortunate enough to move here as a teenager and really fell for western Montana, so it was easy to decide to make Missoula my home. Because of the special character and our access to land, I wanted to make sure that those same traits are available in the next 10 to 20 years for other people who want top make this same choice.”

“I think people are hungering for a change and that we’re in a pointed historical moment, where the city is rapidly becoming a major urban area and sprawling out into the county, and the county can’t continue to just go along to get along and we need to make some hard decisions about how we want to live and how we want our county to look in the next 10 to 20 years," he said.

Slotnick outlined the major issues he sees facing Missoula County over the next six years.

“I definitely want to dive in and make some progress,” he said. “I want to make some progress on affordable housing, on climate change and on ag land protection and patterns of development and come up with some real clear processes in working with the city on when and where annexation occurs, and when and where the sewer will go.”

Jean Curtiss served three terms as Missoula County Commissioner and will serve until January 1, 2019.