BILLINGS – Republican Rep. Frank Fleming will keep his seat in House District 51 in Yellowstone County after a recount did not change the result Tuesday.
Democratic candidate challenger Darryl Wilson had requested a recount after he was trailing Fleming 1,838 votes to 1,821 votes after the Nov. 6 election. Wilson paid for the recount, though the amount was not immediately available.
Following the recount, the margin shrunk by two votes. Fleming gained two votes for a total of 1,840, while Wilson added four to his total for a final tally of 1,825.
After the results were announced, Fleming said at the Yellowstone County Courthouse he “respects Wilson for asking for the recount. It was a close race.”
He added that he’s anxious to start serving his constituents and that he feels the process was fair.
Fleming will be sworn in when Montana’s next legislative session starts Jan. 7.
Wilson was not immediately available for comment.
House District 51 includes wide swaths of south and west Billings, stretching from Shiloh Road on the west to the KOA Kampground on the east.
Related: Recounts on tap in Montana legislative races in Great Falls and Billings