Blanding primary election moves Nielson and Monson on to general election

Blanding residents narrowed a race for a Blanding City Council seat from three candidates to two with a primary election held on August 11.

Colby Monson and Kellen Nielson will face off for the two-year seat during November’s general election.

San Juan County administered the election which included mail-in ballots and in-person voting on August 11. The office reports 444 ballots were cast in the primary election with Nielson receiving 328, and Monson receiving 69, 40 votes were cast for Robert Lyman. Seven votes were listed as overvotes meaning they voted for more than one candidate.

Monson and Nielson are vying for the seat which became open after council member Logan Shumway vacated the seat at the end of 2020. The Blanding City Council was tasked with finding a replacement through the end of 2021, with a special election to be held to determine who would hold the seat for the remaining two years of the term.

City Council members interviewed more than seven candidates for the appointment to the council with Kellen Nielson and Shawn Begay singled out as the top two candidates. After a two-to-two tie vote occurred twice, the council followed state code and flipped a coin for the seat, with Nielson winning the toss and the seat for the remainder of the year.

Additional municipal elections in San Juan County are slated for November. Two other Blanding City Council seats and the office of Mayor are up for election. In addition, both Monticello and Bluff have two city council seats and the office of mayor up for election.

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