As of the time of this posting, with vote counts still coming in, it looks like the make-up of the Montana senate may be 21 Democratic senators to 29 Republicans in the next legislative session. Democrats and Republicans appear to have won an equal number of the seats up for grabs, but Rs maintained an advantage in holdover senators.
During the 2011 session, there were 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats.
In the House, it looks like Democrats may pick up seven
five seats, making that chamber 40 38 Democratic seats to 60 62 Republicans instead of 32-68 like the 2011 session. This will help Governor-elect Steve Bullock sustain his 2013 vetoes. UPDATE: As of 8:30 pm Wed evening, Dems have gained seven MT house seats. The Billings Gazette has the story.
All of the results STILL aren’t in yet, so this could change and the Dems could pick up more seats.
Here are a couple of highlights. I’m sure there more more, please add them in the comments.
- Democrats Brad Hamlett and Greg Jergeson were successful in winning tough Senate races.
- Democrat Ed Leiser is leading Tim Baldwin.
- Tom Jacobson appears to have taken out TEA Partier Cleve Loney.
- Reilly Neill (D) looks to have taken out Dan Skattum in an ATP targeted race.
- And in Butte, Ryan Lynch took back Max Yate’s house seat for the Dems.
- Newcomer Jenny Eck was successfull in keeping her Helena house seat blue.
- Gary Marbut lost in Missoula.
- Janna Taylor and Dee Brown will be back in the Senate.
- Militia-linked Jennifer Fielder is in from Sanders County is now a state senator.
- Nicholas Schwaderer defeated Christine Johnson for the Superior house seat that was much in the news.
- Dog killer Roger Webb is leading Wanda Grinde in Billings for the Heights senate seat, but all the votes aren’t yet in.
- Warburton and Hanson will be back in the house. Though given the recent Frontline expose, she might be subject to a range of penalties, including removal from office, fines, or worse. The question is whether there is a prosecutor out there who is willing to begin looking into this stuff.
- Liz Bangerter from Helena and Joanne Blyton from Red Lodge will be back as well.