Elected Officials

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 Elected Official Positions & Terms


Title Current Elected Official   Term Length  Term Expiration Date
 County Commissioner - District 1  Juanita Vero  6 years  12/31/2026
 County Commissioner - District 2  Dave Strohmaier  6 years  12/31/2028
 County Commissioner - District 3  Josh Slotnick  6 years  12/31/2024
 Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer  Tyler Gernant  4 years  12/31/2026
 County Attorney  Matt Jennings (appointed March 2024)  4 years  12/31/2026
 Sheriff/Coroner  Jeremiah Petersen  4 years  12/31/2026
 Superintendent of Schools  Erin Lipkind   4 years  12/31/2026 
 County Auditor  David Wall  4 years  12/31/2026
 Clerk of District Court

 Amy McGhee (appointed Dec. 2022)

 4 years  12/31/2024
 Justice of the Peace - Dept. 1   Alex Beal  4 years  12/31/2026
 Justice of the Peace - Dept. 2  Landee Holloway  4 years  12/31/2026
 District Court Judge - Dept. 1  Leslie Halligan  6 years  12/31/2024
 District Court Judge - Dept. 2  Robert "Dusty" Deschamps  6 years  12/31/2024
 District Court Judge - Dept. 3  John Larson  6 years  12/31/2024
 District Court Judge - Dept. 4  Jason Marks  6 years  12/31/2028
 District Court Judge - Dept. 5  Shane Vannatta  6 years  12/31/2026


Elected Official Bios 

David Wall


David Wall Head Shot Cropped

Dave grew up in the heavy, warm air of Miami, Florida. He received his first bachelor’s degree, in criminology, from Florida State University. Dave remains a loyal fan of FSU, as it provided great memories, great sports, and it’s also where he met his wife, Susie.


After graduating, Dave and Susie moved to her home state of Oklahoma for three years filled with wonderful family, a surprising abundance of art and cultural opportunities, and a few too many tornadoes. They then moved to Colorado so they could live in the Rocky Mountains, which is where they began their lifelong love affair with hiking and the outdoors.

In 2007, Dave and Susie made a fool hardy but brilliant decision. They left their jobs and embarked on a six month “mid-life temporary retirement” road trip across America. They camped and stayed in cheap motels in 26 states and two Canadian provinces. After traveling up and down both coasts, exploring the desert southwest and the whole Rocky Mountain region, enjoying New England, the Mid-Atlantic states and the southeast, they decided to land in the coolest town they had ever seen … Missoula, Montana.

Once settled in Missoula, Dave went back to school while working full time. He received his second degree, in business administration-accounting, from Montana State University- Billings.

Dave started working for Missoula County in 2013, in the mail room. He moved to the Auditor’s Office in 2015, and was promoted to chief deputy auditor shortly thereafter. In August 2017, County Auditor Barbara Berens retired, and Dave was appointed to finish out her term. Since starting with the county, Dave has always been proud to work in public service. As auditor, Dave is honored to represent the people of Missoula County.

You can often see Dave tramping along hiking trails in and around Missoula. If you do, please don’t hesitate to stop and say hello.

Tyler Gernant

Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer

Tyler Gernant. Missoula County Clerk & RecorderTyler Gernant is a fourth generation Montanan and third generation Missoulian. The proud father of two young children, Tyler’s Montana roots are helping him pass along the values of hard work, responsibility and accountability.

Tyler’s first job was working at a Taco Bell when he was 15 years old. He took that work ethic with him to college, attending Georgetown University. During college he worked in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Upon graduation, Tyler worked on the presidential campaign for Sen. John Edwards, forging relationships that continue to serve the people of Missoula County.

Prior to attending law school at the University of Montana, Tyler spent a short stint as a substitute teacher, teaching high school and middle school. During law school he focused his studies primarily on taxation and business law. He spent the next seven years representing small businesses and individuals with tax, business and real estate matters. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Homeword, a Missoula based nonprofit organization focused on affordable housing.

Tyler has a commitment to helping Missoulians navigate the complex world of property taxes and real estate transactions. As a firm believer in quality customer service, he has worked tirelessly to improve Missoula County’s Motor Vehicle Division, decreasing wait times and consistently receiving positive customer reviews. As a leader on legislative issues, Tyler has helped develop innovative solutions to the problems that have nagged Montana’s clerks and treasurers for decades.

Tyler and his wife, Katie, live with their two children in central Missoula. When they’re not chasing kids around the house, they enjoy fly-fishing and cheering on the Montana Grizzlies. With any luck, their kids will enjoy those things too.

Amy McGhee

Clerk of Court

 Amy was born in Choteau, Montana, and spent her youth split between Great Falls and Washington’s Puget Sound. She moved to Missoula after she graduated from Great Falls High School and quickly fell in love with the city. 

After starting a family and becoming a mom to three wonderful boys, Amy went back to college and in 2014 graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in business management. Soon after graduating, Amy started her incredible career with Missoula County as a temporary employee in Human Resources. She then transferred to the County Attorney’s Office, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become a criminal paralegal. 

In 2019, Amy was hired to be the newly created Justice Court administrator, a position she held until August. 2020, when she became the chief deputy clerk of District Court. In December. 2022, the Missoula Board of County Commissioners appointed her as the interim clerk of District Court.

Amy’s previous roles have given her a unique perspective on how cases work through the system, which allows her to ensure her division of the justice system runs smoothly. She has a passion for great customer service and strives to be a friendly and empathetic face for those struggling to navigate the more difficult aspects of the legal system.

When Amy is not raising her boys to be the best humans they can be, you can find her on the open road riding her beloved Harley Davidson.   


Matt Jennings

County Attorney

Matt Jennings was appointed by the Missoula County commissioners as interim county attorney on March 14, 2024 in advance of the retirement of Kirsten Pabst at the end of March. He will need to run in the general election in November 2024 to continue serving the remainder of Pabst’s term, which runs through 2026.

Jennings has worked in the County Attorney’s Office since 2014 and served as the chief criminal deputy attorney from 2019 to his appointment as interim county attorney. He previously clerked for retired District Court Judge Karen Townsend and worked as a legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in Washington, D.C. He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Montana. Prior to starting law school, Jennings worked as a vice president of government affairs for a renewable energy company.     

Juanita Vero

County Commissioner - District 1

Juanita Vero is a fourth-generation partner of the E Bar L Ranch in Greenough. In addition to running her family business,Juanita Vero headshot she has served on numerous community conservation-focused boards and committees, including as chair of Montana Conservation Voters, Missoula County Open Lands Committee, Big Blackfoot Chapter Trout Unlimited, Swan Valley Connections and Sunset School Board.

Juanita has a bachelor’s degree in English from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys horses, snowboarding, and backcountry wandering after game with her husband and his llamas. She used to play lacrosse, rugby and ultimate frisbee but is now relegated to spending more time on her yoga mat.

In June 2019, Juanita was appointed to fill the remainder of Nicole Rowley’s term, which ran through December 31, 2020. Juanita was elected for the open seat in the November 2020 election, and is now serving her first six-year term. 

Commissioner Vero will be up for re-election in 2026.


David Strohmaier

County Commissioner - District 2


Dave Strohmaier and his wife, Gretchen, have called Missoula home since 1997. From 2006 to 2013, Dave represented Ward 1 on the Missoula City Council. Prior to his time in elected office, Dave spent 18 years with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service in a variety of roles, and also worked 13 years in the private sector as a public historian with Historical Research Associates, Inc., where he specialized in environmental and Native American history.

Dave holds an undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University in religion-philosophy and graduate degrees from Yale Divinity School (M.A.R., 1995, philosophy of religion) and the University of Montana (M.S., 1999, environmental studies). He is a published author, having written two books on the subject of fire—The Seasons of Fire: Reflections on Fire in the West (2001, University of Nevada Press) and Drift Smoke: Loss and Renewal in a Land of Fire (2005, University of Nevada Press).

In January 2023, Dave began his second six-year term on the Missoula Board of County Commissioners. As an outspoken advocate of public transportation, Dave spearheaded an effort to establish a regional rail authority through the southern tier of Montana in 2019. This culminated with the establishment of the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority in the fall of 2020. He currently serves as chairman of the Authority—now the largest transportation district in the state of Montana.

Beyond public service, Dave enjoys big game hunting, fishing, writing, and spending time in the backcountry with his wife, son and daughter, and Labrador retriever.


Josh Slotnick

County Commissioner - District 3

2023 Commission Chair

Josh Slotnick headshotJosh Slotnick moved to Missoula from Grand Forks, N.D., when he was 18 to attend the University of Montana, where he earned a philosophy degree. He then served in the Peace Corps in Thailand before furthering his education, first with a certificate in ecological horticulture from the University of California-Santa Cruz, and then by earning a master’s degree in agricultural extension from Cornell University.

Josh has been farming in Missoula with his wife on their family farm since 1992. In 1996, he co-founded Garden City Harvest and the PEAS Program in the Environmental Studies Program at UM. These entities have grown considerably since, and Josh's work, with many partners, has been well recognized. Josh also lectured at UM and received three awards from the university for service to students.

He has served on many voluntary boards of directors in Missoula, including the Missoula County Weed Control Board, the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board, Homeword, AERO and the Missoula Farmers Market. He has written articles, essays, book chapters and one book.

Josh’s family is his greatest source of pride: his wife, Kim who runs their family farm, Clark Fork Organics in the Orchard Homes area, and their kids, Quinn, Sophie and Tasha.

Josh was elected to his first term as commissioner in 2018 and will be up for re-election in 2024.

Alex Beal

Justice of the Peace

Alex Beal headshotAlex graduated from the University of Montana in 2000 with a degree in economics and from the UM School of Law in 2005. Alex worked as a prosecutor, public defender and as an attorney in private practice, handling a wide variety of cases. In 2016, he was appointed as an assistant Missoula Municipal Court Judge. In November 2018, he was elected Missoula County Justice of the Peace.

Alex is a former member of the Montana State Bar Dispute Resolution Committee, the Lolo School District School Board and the Missoula mayor’s Downtown Advisory Commission (which focuses on issues of quality of life for downtown Missoula). Alex currently serves on the Missoula County DUI Task Force, which brings together a cross-section of the community to find solutions for our impaired driving epidemic. Alex is a regular participant in the Justice Alliance for Behavioral Health, a local collaboration of mental health and judicial professionals.

He lives in Lolo with his wife and two sons. He is rumored to have hobbies.


Landee Holloway

Justice of the Peace

Justice of the Peace 2 Landee HollowayJudge Landee Holloway obtained a bachelor's degree  in criminology, with a minor in psychology, from Southern Oregon State College before making Missoula her home in 1992. In Missoula, Judge Holloway started her career at the Missoula Pre-Release Center before working for the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC). In her 21 years with the DOC, she worked as a traditional probation and parole officer, intensive supervision officer, supervisor and re-entry probation and parole officer.

While at the DOC, Judge Holloway led the Office of Offender Re-entry, a statewide group tasked with improving the department’s re-entry efforts in conjunction with the Governor’s Re-entry Initiative. Judge Holloway also played a key role in developing Partner’s for Reintegration, a local grassroots coalition focused on education and advocacy to reduce barriers for those returning from incarceration.

Judge Holloway has been recognized as the Missoula Exchange Club’s Probation and Parole Officer of the Year and presented with the Montana Governor’s Award for Excellence in Performance. She served on the steering committee for the Missoula Jail Diversion Master Plan. The Missoula County Board of County Commissioners appointed her to fill the interim term as Missoula County Justice of the Peace in 2016. She was elected to her first full term in 2018.

As an engaged member of the Missoula community, Judge Holloway has volunteered with numerous organizations, including the Literacy Volunteers of America, the Missoula Marathon and Camp Mak-A-Dream and the Special Olympics. She served as Board Chair for Western Montana Addiction Services and on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula.

Judge Holloway lives in Missoula with her husband, Nick, and their son, Jackson. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and friends in the great outdoors.

 Jeremiah Petersen


Jeremiah grew up on a ranch in Frenchtown, where he learned the accomplishments and rewards of hard work. After graduating from Frenchtown High School, he attended the University of Montana and put his work ethic and mental and physical attributes to the test. He played football at UM and is a proud member of the 1995 national championship team. He graduated in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in sociology with an emphasis in justice studies.

Former Sheriff Doug Chase hired Jeremiah as a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputy in 2002. Jeremiah worked in the Patrol Division for more than 15 years where he held many roles, including search and rescue coordinator, field training officer, corporal and sergeant. In November 2016 he moved to the Detective Division and became the task force commander of the Missoula Drug Task Force. He held that position until November 2019, when he was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned to the Missoula County Detention Facility in charge of operations. 

Throughout his time of service, Jeremiah believed that our communities still, and always will, deserve the best in safety and service that the Sheriff’s Office can provide. With that commitment and his respected leadership skills, Jeremiah was elected sheriff in November 2022. 

Jeremiah lives in the Missoula area with his wife, two daughters and son.


Erin Lipkind

Superintendent of Schools 

Erin Lipkind, Missoula County Superintendent of Schools Erin R. Lipkind is the Missoula County superintendent of schools, serving as the elected official responsible for general supervision of the public schools and home schools within the county. The superintendent has direct supervision over the three Class III schools in the county, assisting the trustees with budgeting and finance; recruitment; placement and supervision of teachers; curriculum development; teacher in-service training, reporting requirements and other school matters. The Class III schools are Sunset, Swan Valley, and Woodman Elementary Schools. Additionally, the superintendent assists DeSmet and Potomac schools in the aforementioned matters by request of the principal or trustees.

Erin earned a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction, and is licensed to teach K-8 curriculum, library media, reading and to serve as a K-12 principal. After graduating from the University of Montana, she served as a school librarian for a year in Great Falls and seven and a half years at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Missoula before being elected to her current position.

Erin enjoys spending time with her family working on her hobby farm, Shady Goats, where she raises goats and chickens, maintains a large garden and orchard, preserves food and makes goat cheese. She also enjoys hiking and backpacking and reads voraciously.