Filing for elected offices closed tonight at 5 pm with a couple of surprises. Republican Debi Rhines filed for Hill County Commissioner. Rhines will face the winner of the Democrat primary race between North Havre farmer Mark Peterson and Debbie Walker the Hill County road department office manager. Incumbent Kathy Bessette is not seeking reelection.
In Senate District 17 Republican Don Richman from Harlem will face a primary challenge from Harlem resident Republican Doug Stuart who filed today. The winner of the primary will face an old time Blaine County Democrat Greg Jergeson who has retired from the public service commission.
In other state races the Secretary of State’s office reports that in the 100 house races there are 51 Republican incumbents compared to 19 Democrat incumbents facing challengers. In 3 seats the Democrat faces no opposition and will win by default and likewise 12 Republicans candidates will be elected by default since there is no opposition. On the Senate side 3 seats have been handed to unopposed Democrats with no Republicans challenging.
Democratic Heather Margolis surprised some people by filing against Democrat Steve Bullock at the last hour. Many are already calling it a token campaign to help Bullock by allowing him to keep a vast amount of campaign contributions which can only be kept if he has primary opposition. Just another in the long list of loopholes that can be taken advantage of by one of our not too ethical candidates. Democrats Bullock and Margolis will be joined by 7 Republicans, 1 Independent and a Libertarian in the race for governor.
See the full list of all the final candidates here