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Top county, legislative positions highlight Yellowstone County ballot

Congressional race, abortion referendum at stake
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Posted at 3:21 PM, Nov 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 17:21:35-05

BILLINGS — BILLINGS – In Yellowstone County, the midterm ballot is packed with state representatives and several top leadership positions in the county.

Twenty-one state representative seats are on the ballot. Ten are uncontested, with Republicans the lone candidates.

All county-level seats on the ballot are also seeing no contest from Democrats.

Republican Mark Morse is running unopposed for Yellowstone County commissioner, district two.

And with no challenge, Jeff Martin will continue his role as the clerk and recorder, Mike Linder as sheriff of Yellowstone County, Scott Twito as county attorney, and Sherry Long as superintendent of schools.

Democratic party leaders say they focused their campaign dollars on state representative races they hope to win this year to prevent a Republican supermajority at the 2023 Legislature.

“They would be able to put constitutional measures on the ballot, they would be able to call a constitutional convention if they have the votes to do that,” said Robyn Driscoll, Montana Democratic Party chair.

In a statement, Montana GOP Chairman Don Kaltschmidt said, “This election is about protecting our Second Amendment rights, protecting Montana energy jobs, securing the southern border an reducing crime.”

And one of the top races for eastern Montana – a vote for the Eastern District congressional candidate.

Congressman Matt Rosendale is up against Democrat Penny Ronning and Independent Gary Buchanan.

An issue related to abortion is making its way to the ballot from the 2022 session: Legislative Referendum 131.

Maternal fetal medicine specialist Dr. Timothy Mitchell with Community Physician Group is one of hundreds of Montana health care professionals who publicly oppose the measure.

“Never have I thought that the comfort care that's being provided to these neonates, in allowing these families to grieve on their own terms, would be something that could potentially cause myself or any of my colleagues to end up in prison for up to 20 years," Mitchell said.

Kalispell state Rep. Matt Reiger sponsored the measure.

"To me, this is the most purest form of democracy is letting the people in Montana decide how big an issue protecting born-alive infants is," Geiger said.

The polls are open until 8 p.m. Tuesday.