At press time, Steve Daines and John Walsh were cruising to easy wins in their primary races, with Rep. Daines capturing 83 percent of the Republican votes and Sen. Walsh at 64 percent of Democratic voters.
With 630 of 690 precincts reporting, Ryan Zinke had just about a third of the votes in the Republican race for Montana’s U.S. House seat. Corey Stapleton and Matt Rosendale had 29 percent each.
John Lewis was well ahead in the Democratic primary for the House seat, with nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Yellowstone County vote totals were similar to statewide patterns, except that Corey Stapleton of Billings captured 37 percent of the vote here, beating out Mr. Zinke with 29 percent.
With all Yellowstone County precincts reporting, Rod Souza unofficially led in the race for District Court judge with 33 percent of the vote; William Speare was second with 22 percent.
Most House and Senate primary races were uncontested. On the Republican side, Barry Usher beat Duane Ankney, 52 percent to 48 percent, in Senate District 20; Tonya Shellnut won Senate District 24 with 53 percent of the vote over Rodney Garcia and Keith Winkler; Cary Smith beat Don Roberts with 60 percent of the vote in Senate District 27; Tom Berry beat Ray Gorham with 54 percent of the vote in House District 40; Tom Richmond had 62 percent of the vote over Aaron Langford in House District 50; Tony O’Donnell had 69 percent of the vote over Landan Cheney in House District 51; Sarah Laszloffy defeated Mark Noennig in House District 53, 60 percent to 40 percent; and Jeff Essmann won with 67 percent of the vote over Debra Bonogofsky in House District 54.
There were no contested legislative races on the Democratic ballot, but Jim Ronquillo won his primary for county commissioner against Darryl Wilson, 64 percent to 35 percent.
In Republican county races, Debby Hernandez held onto her county auditor seat with 51 percent of the vote over Rebecca Rhodes West, and William Selph defeated three candidates for county assessor/treasurer/county superintendent of schools.
Measures to establish government review and study commissions were defeated in the cities of Billings and Laurel and in Yellowstone County.