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 Frank 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 percent 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 percent 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.
Story by Mike Dennison, MTN News