Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tester wins, plus other Montana results from a long election night (UPDATE)

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM


Whether you waited in line at the fairgrounds, or stayed up until the early morning hours to watch election results on your computer, or drank yourself silly as soon as President Barack Obama earned a second term, it was a long day and longer night.

Here's what you need to know as you pull yourself together this morning:

- Obama lost Montana, but won the general election handily. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his campaign team and volunteers by calling them the best in history. That team includes Jim Messina, a former UM student and Sen. Max Baucus chief of staff who served as Obama's campaign manager.

- Obama also thanked those who waited in long lines to vote and noted, "By the way, we have to fix that." In Missoula, there were reports of voters waiting several hours to cast a ballot, and lines remained at the Elections Office past 11 p.m.

- This morning, the AP called Montana's Senate race for Sen. Jon Tester, ending the most expensive race in the state's history. Democrats retain control of the U.S. Senate. Here's Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg's concession statement:

Jan and I are tremendously and eternally grateful for the support, kind words and prayers we have received from countless Montanans. It has been an honor to serve the people of Montana. The voters of our state have spoken, and I respect their decision. Senator Tester and I share an abiding love for Montana and America, a value which transcends political party or disagreements on matters of policy. I congratulate Jon on his victory in this hard-fought campaign.

- Republican Steve Daines beat Democrat Kim Gillan for the state's lone seat in the U.S. House. Republicans have now held this seat since 1997, when Pat Williams retired.

- The race for governor is still too close to call. Democrat Steve Bullock is holding a slight lead over Republican Rick Hill.

- Attorney General: Republican Tim Fox appears to be on his way to beating Democrat Pam Bucy.

- Secretary of State: Incumbent Democrat Linda McCullough is leading Republican Brad Johnson.

- State Auditor: Incumbent Democrat Monica Lindeen is beating Republican Derek Skees.

- Superintendent of Public Instruction: Incumbent Democrat Denise Juneau has a very narrow lead over Republican Sandy Welch.

- All of the ballot issues passed. That means certain state services will be denied to illegal aliens, girls under the age of 16 must notify a parent before getting an abortion, the legislature's repeal of the state's medical marijuana law will stand, the state wants to fight Obamacare and doesn't believe corporations are people. None of the races were close.

- If you didn't see it already, one Flathead County election judge made news yesterday. For the record, his (potentially illegal) predictions ended up going 1 for 4.

- Click here (and scroll down) for the results of the local legislative races. One race of note: With six out of seven precincts fully reported, Republican David "Doc" Moore is eking out a lead in House District 91 over Democrat Chuck Erickson. Of the 4,424 total ballots counted, Moore has a 64 vote-lead, making him a frontrunner for the open seat that outgoing Democrat Rep. Timothy Furey vacated.

- Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, a Democrat, will serve a third six-year term after beating Republican Mark Brady.

- In Missoula County, voter turnout was huge. Unofficially, 60,520 people voted, 903 more than in 2008, according Missoula County elections chief Vickie Zeier.

- The three races for seats on the Public Service Commission are all leaning red at the moment, but Missoula Democrat Gail Gutsche, the incumbent, is very close to catching Republican Bob Lake.

- Outside of Montana, a few races may be of interest. First off, former Griz wide receiver and U.S. House hopeful Jimmy Farris got blown out in his bid to represent Idaho. If you're not familiar with Farris' campaign, it was a bootstrap operation that was always a long-shot, but still pretty cool. Meanwhile, Maryland and Maine legalized gay marriage, and Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana. UPDATE: Washington state has also legalized gay marriage.

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