Voters on Tuesday easily re-elected Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund to another six-year term.
Ostlund ran unopposed for a second term, and after the absentee ballots and 38 of 69 precincts had been counted, he had received 39,636 votes.
"I'm very honored to have the opportunity to serve Yellowstone County as a commissioner," he said. "The same priorities I started with six years ago will continue to be on the front burner, and those are transportation issues, public access to public lands and private property rights."
A Republican, Ostlund won his first term in 2002. He defeated incumbent James "Ziggy" Ziegler in the Republican primary, and then went on to a quick victory over Democrat Janice Munsell in the general election. Ostlund raised $33,000 in 2002, which set fund-raising records for a county race, but no such effort was required this time.
Ostlund worked for 30 years for the county public-works department, mostly working on roads and transportation issues. He owns an aviation fuel business in Laurel and is a pilot. He's a prominent figure in the courthouse with his cowboy boots, blue jeans, sport coat and big white cowboy hat.
"This is probably the best spot in the lower 48 states to live right now," Ostlund said. "We're going to continue to see growth here. We have so many opportunities here, a great hospital community, an airport, recreational opportunities, manufacturing, three refineries. I think we have enough diversity that Yellowstone County will continue to prosper even when the nation doesn't."