Nov 5, 2012 3:37 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - The 2012 campaign cycle in Montana has been filled with excitement from the top of the ticket to the bottom.
Montana voters are not only casting votes for President but the state's U.S. Senate race has been one for the record books.
Senator Jon Tester (D) is fighting to keep his seat as Congressman Denny Rehberg (R) challenges him. The race has gained national attention because the power of the Senate is in limbo and polling shows this race could determine its political makeup. Going into Election Day, the race is considered a toss-up after an incredibly heated campaign cycle.
With Rehberg trying to make the switch between houses, the state's lone U.S. House seat is up for grabs. Bozeman businessman Steve Daines (R), and state Senator Kim Gillan (D) have run vigorous campaigns to make it to Congress.
Voters will also be selecting a new governor. Current Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) is termed out and Attorney General Steve Bullock (D) and former Congressman Rick Hill (R) are in a tight race to fill that seat.
With Bullock making a run for the governor's office, it leaves his seat at the attorney general's office open. Republican Tim Fox and Democrat Pam Bucy have both run active campaigns to become the state's next chief law enforcement officer.
Linda McCulloch (D) and Brad Johnson (R) are in a familiar battle to become the next Secretary of State. McCulloch currently holds the office, but Johnson held it before she defeated him four years ago.
Incumbent Denise Juneau (D) is having to defend her seat as the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Republican Sandy Welch has run a hard fought campaign and Montana voters have a choice between two distinctly different candidates.
State Representative Derek Skees ( R) is challenging incumbent Monica Lindeen (D) to her seat as state auditor.
And finally, voters will have a chance to elect a new justice to the Montana Supreme Court. Justice James Nelson is retiring and two candidates are vying for a shot. District Court Judge Laurie McKinnon and Missoula Attorney Ed Sheehy are both eager to represent the state on the bench.