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Entries in Montana politics (40)


Bullock will be next Montana governor

(HELENA)- His lead shrank somewhat as the votes trickled in throughout the early morning hours Wednesday, but in the end Democrat Steve Bullock's was still able to claim victory in Montana's gubernatorial race. 

Bullock had lead the early voting by as much as 10-points. And Republican Rick Hill made a race of it during the mid-morning counts, eventually drawing with a point-and-a-half. But Hill's attempt to convert his experience as a Congressman into the governor's mansion simply ran out of ballots, letting Bullock claim victory with 48.8% of the vote by early afternoon. 

Bullock called the win a victory for "hand-working Montanans", saying their "voices had been heard." 


“I want to congratulate Steve Bullock on his election and I wish him and his running mate John Walsh the best," Hill said in a prepared statement. "Both are dedicated public servants, and I know that they will do their best to make the right decisions for Montana."



Gillan offers Daines congratulations on House win 

(BILLINGS)- Billings Democrat Kim Gillan is offering her congratulations to House nominee Steve Daines, who swept to victory overnight in the race for Montana’s lone seat. 

Although the race was close in the initial tabulation of votes, Daines pulled away as the votes were counted from Montana’s larger counties, pushing him over 53%.

“I congratulate Mr. Daines and thank all Montanans for voting.  We are so lucky to live in a country where we can vote for our representatives.  I have tremendous respect for the process and everyone who voted,” Gillan said in a prepared statement. 

“This campaign was never about me.  It’s always been about the people of Montana.  To my family, my staff, and my supporters and volunteers all across Montana who gave your money, your time and your votes: Thank you!  I am so proud of the campaign we ran and I am so proud of you.

“Montanans are very lucky to have strong leaders like Max Baucus and Jon Tester in the U.S. Senate and Jon’s win is a win for all Montanans.”


Rehberg maintains lead in latest polls

(HELENA)- We'll know for certain on Tuesday, but right now Congressman Denny Rehberg is maintaining his lead in the latest poll for the hotly-contested U.S. Senate Race. 

Rehberg is attempting to jump from the House to the Senate by defeating Jon Tester in his first re-election bid. The race has generated a record amount of campaign spending, and attention from around the country in the national fight for control of the Senate. 

According to the latest Lee Newspapers poll Rehberg held a slim edge over Tester this past week, with 49%. 45% said they would vote for Tester, with 1% for Dan Cox, the Libertarian in the race. Just over 600-voters took part in the poll.

5% told the pollsters they still hadn't made up their minds. 

Read the full story from the Missoulian here. 


Sales tax, minimum wage mark gubernatorial debate

Bullock, right and Hill, left, shake hands during Saturday's MTN debate- MTN photo(BOZEMAN)- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock says if legislation to set up a sales tax in Montana ever came across his desk he’d veto it. 

But when Bullock charged that his Republican rival Rick Hill thinks otherwise during the latest debate between the pair, Hill shot back he’s “never proposed a sales tax in this campaign.”

The sales tax was just one thorny point between the two, as they faced off during a Bozeman debate broadcast statewide Saturday night on the MTN Network

Bullock, the current Montana Attorney General, and Hill, the former Montana Congressman are both vying to replace Gov. Brian Schweitzer when his second term is complete at the end of the year. 

Most polls have the race in a dead heat, and the debate was further proof of how the outcome could hinge on one of several key issues, including state spending, business development and the economy, and what both men have done previously in their political careers. 

Hill underlined his work to reform cut taxes and rework welfare programs while he was serving in Washington. Bullock pointed to campaigns from the AG’s office on drunk driving and defending Montana’s rights to limit campaign spending. 

Bullock took Hill to task for being against increases in Montana’s minimum wage. But Hill argued that studies show higher minimum wage levels are killing the development of new jobs. 


Economic issues tops in Montana Congressional race

The debate was carried live on both PBS stations and streamed on the Montana PBS website(MISSOULA)- Spurring the economy, and how to cut government spending, are the dominate themes Tuesday night, as candidates for Montana’s lone seat in the House debate in Missoula.

Republican Steve Daines of Bozeman, Democrat Kim Gillan of Billings and Libertarian Dave Kaiser of Victor gathered in the Missoula studios at Montana PBS in a debate done before the cameras, but not in front of a live audience. The 90-minute debate was broadcast statewide. 

All three had ideas to create jobs in Montana, ranging from better worker re-training programs to cutting red tape.

“Let’s change our focus, and focus on the companies, the individuals in the United States who are going to use our talent and make sure they’re going to create jobs for the future," said Gillan. "I think the strategy we need to do is to work with Republicans and Democrats instead of starting from the extremes and find a way we can get the economy back on track.”

Kaiser, running for office for the first time, sounded a continued theme of cutting the size and influence of government. 

“All the waste, all the duplicate services out of the federal government. We’ll save an enormous amount of money. The also with regulations that are dated back to the 40s, 50s, 60s. We can eliminate them and let businesses do what they do best and not be impeded by the federal government.”

"we’ve got to attack the $16-trillion debt," said Daines in response to the jobs question. "It creates tremendous uncertainity. We have countries like China that we owe 1.1-trillion to. And so it’s going to take some broad, comprehensive bi-partisan support to get that done. These are big, big issues and the clock is ticking. We need to get to the people’s work back in Washington.”

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