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Helena will have more open seats than candidates on the ballot in the May 7 school board election. 

John H. McEwen and incumbent Libby Goldes were the only candidates to file for the three board seats by 5 p.m. Thursday, which was the deadline to get their names on the ballot. However, people can still file as write-in candidates until 5 p.m. April 4, according to Lewis and Clark County election officials.

McEwen and Goldes are both seeking three-year terms on the board of trustees. Board members Sanjay Talwani and Tyler Emmert are not seeking re-election this year. 

This year's election stands in stark contrast to the 2017 election, which saw six candidates battle over two seats. In 2016, five candidates ran for the same three seats up for election this cycle. 

This year marks the 12th year Goldes has served on the school board. The incumbent decided to seek re-election for her fifth term to continue her work in the district.

"We all want the best for our students. Not only are they our children, grandchildren and neighbors, they are also our future," Goldes said. "Making sure they are offered appropriate and engaging educational opportunities in a supportive environment with the best teachers possible is a prime goal."

During her time with the board, Goldes has headed several committees and served as board chair. She has been the board's representative to the Montana Quality Education Coalition and municipal director on the board for the Montana School Board Association, and worked on the district's health benefit committee. 

Goldes has four children and will soon have a grandchild attending school in the district. 

This election marks McEwen's third time running for the school board. He has run the past two election cycles, but wasn't elected. 

Now retired, McEwen spent many years working for the state of Montana. He also spent time working as a substitute teacher, a student teacher and at ExplorationWorks. 

"I've always been interested in school issues," McEwen said. "I think I can help out. I have the background to do the things that school boards do." 

All three of McEwen's children attended school in the Helena district. 

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Education and Business Reporter

Education and Business reporter for Helena Independent Record.

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