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Recounts on tap in MT legislative races in Great Falls and Billings

Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 21:56:40-05

HELENA – Recounts will be held next week in two Montana legislative races – one in Billings and one in Great Falls.

Republican state Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway in House District 22 in south Great Falls and Republican Fred Fleming in House District 51 in south-central Billings are the official winners in each race.

However, their respective margins of victory are each less than 0.5% of the vote total, allowing the losing candidate to request a recount – if that losing candidate is willing to pay for it.

In both races, the losing candidate has requested the recount and posted a non-refundable bond to pay for the recount.

Democrat Darryl Wilson, who lost to Fleming by 17 votes, has posted a $1,137 bond to finance his recount, which is scheduled next Tuesday in Billings.

The Montana Democratic Party has posted a $2,115 bond to pay for the recount for Democrat Laura Devers, who lost to Sheldon-Galloway by 14 votes. The recount has yet to be scheduled.

If the margin of victory is less than 0.25% of the vote total, the candidates do not have to pay for the recount.

Republicans currently hold a 58-42 majority in the Montana House for the 2019 Legislature, which convenes January 7.

-Mike Dennison reporting for MTN News