(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."