Missoula Mayor John Engen met with reporters in Silver Park on Wednesday afternoon to announce his bid for a fifth term as the city’s chief executive.

Speaking for Mayor Engen included his campaign manager and City Councilor Amber Sherrill, Susan Hay Patrick, who was speaking for herself aside from her duties at the Missoula County United Way, as well as former State Senator Mike Halligan. All three praised Engen’s many years of service as Mayor, as well as the numerous community events he has participated in or for which he acted as Emcee in the last decade and a half.

Engen first formally introduced himself to media members who may have been new to Missoula.

“As you know, my name is John Engen, and I'm running for mayor of the city of my hometown of Missoula, Montana,” began Engen. “I am optimistic, I'm energetic, and I'm committed to making local government continue to work for all of us. I'm ready to execute our community plans and find new ways to solve our problems the same way that I have for nearly 16 years now, and I'm ready for any surprises that may come our way because you've given me the trust and privilege of serving you, again and again.”

Engen said he wants to continue his work on many fronts in Missoula.

“This next term will be about continuing to deliver the basic services we rely on every day for our daily lives,” he said. “I'm committed to taking care of those basics of local government fire and police protection, health and welfare, water and wastewater, streets and sidewalks, parks and recreation planning and permitting, criminal prosecution, and all of the work that our great staff does every day. And I intend to continue to deliver those services as effectively and economically as possible.”

Engen also addressed the challenges of law enforcement going forward.

“I believe that most Missoulians support a well trained police force,” he said. “They trust those officers to serve and protect them and are willing to invest in good cops. At the same time, I know that we are not perfect, and that concerns about violence and racial bias in policing are not only legitimate, but I also believe that a mental health crisis or being unhoused are not crimes and that we need to meet more needs than ever in keeping residents safe.”

Engen wrapped up his comments with a direct plea to voters.

“I want to be mayor for another term,” he said. “That's going to require leadership, courage, a thick skin, commitment, compassion, and hope. I have all of those. And I believe that this community will only get better through the work that we, and this is a we business, do together.”

Engen is Missoula's longest serving mayor.

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