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Billings wards

This city map shows the five wards in Billings, coordinated by color. 

Ballots for the city council primary races in four of Billings' five wards were mailed out Friday. 

Voters in Ward 3, which includes midtown Billings and the neighborhoods in the Blue Creek area annexed by the city, will be the only residents who don't receive ballots. Ward 3 has only two candidates — Danny Choriki and Aldo A. Rowe — running, negating the need for a primary; they'll appear on ballots in November's general election.

For the other four wards, the ballots will be packed. Election law stipulates a primary for city council races when at least three of the wards have four or more candidates, or one ward has at least five candidates.

This year, Billings had both. And with the primaries comes the additional cost to the county of running an extra election. 

"It's about a dollar a voter," said Bret Rutherford, the elections administrator for Yellowstone County.

The city has roughly 50,000 registered voters, 11,000 of them won't get ballots because they reside within Ward 3. Still, Rutherford anticipates the election will cost somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. 

With no mayoral race part of this primary, Rutherford isn't sure what to expect in terms of turnout. He guessed it could be somewhere around 40%. 

Primary ballots must be returned to the county election office by Sept. 10. All registered voters in the four wards with a primary should receive their ballots in the mail. Anyone who doesn't can visit the county elections office for help.

Running in Ward 1 are Kendra Shaw; John S. Armstrong; and Jim Ronquillo, who has served on the city council before. Ward 1 includes downtown Billings, the North Park and South Park neighborhoods, and the southern corner of the Heights.

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Running in Ward 2 are Roy Neese, who was appointed to the council late last year and is the only incumbent in any of the races; Michael Richardson; Randy Heinz; and Roger Gravgaard. Ward 2 includes the Heights north of Hilltop Road.

Running in Ward 4 are Pam Purinton, Daron Olson, Gordon Olson, Carmelita Dominguez, and Nicole Gallagher. Ward 4 includes the neighborhoods along the Rimrock Road corridor out to about 70th Street West and Rehberg Ranch.

Matthew J. Senn, who had filed to be a candidate in Ward 4, pulled out of the primary earlier this summer. His decision to leave the race came after the election office's deadline to drop out, so his name will still appear on the ballot. 

Running in Ward 5 are Dennis Ulvestad, Leilahni Kay, Mike Boyett, Jennifer Merecki, and Fredrick J. Wilburn. Ward 5 includes the West End south of Colton Boulevard.

Billings City Council candidates: Ward 1

Get to know the candidates for Billings City Council Ward 1.

Billings City Council candidates: Ward 2

Get to know the candidates for Billings City Council Ward 2.

Billings City Council candidates: Ward 3

Get to know the candidates for Billings City Council Ward 3.

Billings City Council candidates: Ward 4

Get to know the candidates for Billings City Council Ward 4.

Billings City Council candidates: Ward 5

Get to know the candidates for Billings City Council Ward 5.

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