Political newcomer Lisa Triepke fell short in her effort to unseat now fourth-term Mayor John Engen on Tuesday night.

The deadline for mail in ballots was 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, and the initial numbers showed that Engen had a comfortable lead over Triepke.

Triepke, a single mother of four, campaigned on making the mayor's office more transparent, and opening up more decision making power to the people of Missoula.

Reached at her post-election gathering at the Iron Horse in downtown Missoula, Triepke expressed her appreciation and thanks to all the people who supported her, and spoke about the lessons learned in her first foray into politics.

“I think I was probably a little saddened about the ugliness the race took, but I think that it’s a public office and I know our team was determined to take the high road from the very first time we met as a team,” Triepke said. “I’m so proud of them because we stuck to that and we stayed on the issues, but if you run you need to have a thick skin.”

Triepke ran afoul of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices for not properly reporting campaign expenses. That case still waits for a final decision either from the Lewis and Clark County attorney, or COPP Jeff Mangan.

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