As a part of a record breaking voter turnout year, Republican Montana candidates swept all statewide competitions in the 2020 general election Nov. 3, the first time doing so in an election in the 21st century. Aside from candidates, voters legalized recreational marijauna, joining a dozen or so other states in the country to allow the use of the plant.
By noon on Nov. 4, over 70% of Montana’s election precincts had reported results, which can be found at the secretary of state’s website. The Associated Press called all the statewide races early in the morning of Nov. 4.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Steve Daines successfully gained a second term in the Senate after defeating challenger and current Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. Daines won by almost 10 percentage points, or 50,000 votes.
Current Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte won the race for governor over Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney by eight percent. Gianforte, who lost the governor’s race to Bullock in 2016, will be the first new Montana Governor in eight years.
State Auditor Matt Rosendale claimed victory over Missoula businesswoman Kathleen Williams by a 12 point margin. Both of these candidates lost their statewide races in 2018, Rosendale in the Senate race, and Williams for the House seat.
Statewide candidates for attorney general, state auditor, secretary of state, and the superintendent of public instruction were all won by Republicans by at least 10 points, with the exception of the public instruction seat. Austin Knudsen, Troy Downing, Christi Jacobsen, and Elsie Arntzen, respectively, will take over these seats starting in 2021.
In Missoula, most local positions, like the county commissioner’s race, were won by Democrats. In the western Montana region, however, Republican Jennifer Fielder has a small lead over Democrat Monica Tranel. With more ballots expected, and just 4,000 votes separating the two at the time of publishing, there is no concrete winner of the race.
Local legislature results in Missoula County
(Note, Winner on the left)
HD 89: Katie Sullivan (D) 60%, Gary Wanberg (R) 40%
HD 90: Marilyn Marler (D) 69%, Lana Hamilton (R) 31%
HD 91: Connie Keogh (D) 83%, Bethanie Calvert Wanberg (R) 17%
HD 92: Mike Hopkins (R) 54%, Tom Browder (D) 46%
HD 94: Tom France (D) 55%, Karen Sherman (R) 45%
HD 95: Danny Tenenbaum (D) 73%, Rebecca Dawson (R) 27%
*HD 96: Kathy Whitman (R) 51%, Loni Conley (D) 49%
HD 97: Brad Tschida (R) 56%, Louann Hansen (D) 44%
HD 98: Willis Curdy (D) 59%, Nancy Burgoyne (R) 36%, Richard L Armerding (L) 5%
HD 99: Mark Thane (D) 65%, David “Doc” Moore (R) 35%
HD 100: Andrea Olsen (D) 83%, Carol Minjares (R) 17%
SD 7: Bob Brown (R) 75%, Diane Magone (D) 25%
SD 45: Ellie Hill (D) 62%, Susan Campbell Reneau (R) 35%, Nolen W. Slime (L) 4%
SD 46: Shannon O’Brien (D) 67%, Nikki Sardot (R) 33%
SD 47: Daniel Saloman (R) 52%, Chase Porter Gay (D) 43%, Devin Braaten (L) 5%
*This race is within a margin of 150 votes.
This article will be updated as information becomes available
More coverage of the 2020 election from the Montana Kaimin: