Montana's at-large congressional district special election, 2017

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United States House of Representatives election in Montana, 2017

← 2016 May 25, 2017 2018 →

Montana's at-large congressional district

  Greg Gianforte (cropped).jpg Rob Quist speaking 03 (cropped).jpg No image.svg
Nominee Greg Gianforte Rob Quist Mark Wicks
Party Republican Democratic Libertarian
Popular vote 190,520 169,214 21,682
Percentage 49.7% 44.1% 5.7%

Montana's at-large congressional district special election, 2017 results by county.svg
Results by county


U.S. Representative before election

Ryan Zinke
Republican

Elected U.S. Representative

Greg Gianforte
Republican

In Montana, an at-large congressional district special election was held on May 25, 2017, to determine the member of the United States House of Representatives for Montana's at-large congressional district. The election was necessitated by Incumbent Republican Representative Ryan Zinke's appointment as United States Secretary of the Interior. Zinke resigned on March 1, 2017, upon his confirmation.[1]

Montana's state law required the Governor of Montana to call for a special election to be held no less than 85 and no more than 100 days after the vacancy.[2] Governor Steve Bullock declared a special election to take place on May 25, the earliest possible day he was legally allowed to choose.[1]

The Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green Parties held nominating conventions to decide their nominee.[3] The day before the election, Gianforte assaulted a reporter and was charged with misdemeanor assault.[4][5] At around 10:30pm MST, the election was called for Gianforte after 77% of the votes were counted.[6][7]

Republican Party[edit]

Nominated[edit]

Eliminated at convention[edit]

Withdrawn[edit]

Declined[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican Convention
Candidate First ballot Pct.
Greg Gianforte 150.5 61%
Others 94.5 39%

Democratic Party[edit]

The Democratic Party selected a nominee at a convention on March 5.[27]

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle from February 4 to 8 conducted a straw poll of Democratic delegates.[28] Of 89 delegates that responded, Rob Quist was selected by 37, Amanda Curtis by 30, Kelly McCarthy by 13, 9 were undecided, and zero delegates selected John Meyer or other.[28]

Nominated[edit]

  • Rob Quist, musician, former spokesman and advocate for the Montana Food Bank, and former member of the Montana Arts Council[29]

Eliminated at convention[edit]

  • Amanda Curtis, State Representative and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2014[30]
  • Kelly McCarthy, State Representative[29]
  • John Meyer, attorney and executive director of the Cottonwood Environmental Law Center[31]
  • Lee "Link" Neimark, ski instructor and small business owner[32]
  • Gary Stein, teacher and candidate for the State House in 2008[33]
  • Thomas Weida, retired businessman[34]
  • Dan West, former aide to Senators Max Baucus and Mark Udall and former appointee to NASA[35]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements (primary)[edit]

Kelly McCarthy
Rob Quist
Dan West

Results[edit]

Democratic Convention
Candidate First ballot Pct. Second ballot Pct. Third ballot Pct. Fourth ballot Pct.
Rob Quist 57 36% 62 39% 72 45% 90 57%
Amanda Curtis 39 25% 48 30% 57 36% 69 43%
Kelly McCarthy 38 24% 42 26% 31 19% Eliminated
Dan West 17 11% 8 5% Eliminated Eliminated
Others 7 4% Eliminated Eliminated Eliminated

Libertarian Party[edit]

The Libertarian Party Convention on March 11, 2017, was held at Eagle's Lodge in Helena, Montana.[45]

The following county affiliate parties were represented at the convention:

Officers of the Libertarian Party of Montana and delegates from the assembled counties had voting rights.

Nominated[edit]

  • Mark Wicks, author, rancher and fruit salesman[46][45]

Eliminated at convention[edit]

  • Joe Paschal, rancher and businessman[47]
  • Chris Colvin, retired masonry contractor and writer[47][48]
  • Evan Gardner, small business owner[47]
  • Dan Nelson, IT administrator[47]
  • Rufus Peace, accounting analyst[47][48]
  • Nathan McKenty[47]
  • James White, Uber driver[47][48]

Withdrawn[edit]

  • Rick Breckenridge, land surveyor

Results[edit]

Libertarian Convention[48]
Candidate First ballot Pct. Second ballot Pct. Third ballot Pct.
Mark Wicks 3 19% 5 29% 9 56%
Joe Paschal 5 31% 6 35% 7 44%
Evan Gardner 3 19% 3 18% Eliminated
Rufus Peace 3 19% 3 18% Eliminated
Dan Nelson 1 6% Eliminated
Chris Colvin 0 0% Eliminated
Nathan McKenty 0 0% Eliminated
James White 0 0% Eliminated
None of the Above 1 6% Eliminated

Green Party[edit]

The Green Party Convention on March 4, 2017, was held at the University of Montana's Payne Family Native American Center.[49]

Breck, along with two independent candidates, won a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Montana Secretary of State, ruling Montana's ballot access laws to be unconstitutional in the case of special elections. The District Court Judge ruled to change the original requirement to submit 14,268 ballot petition signatures, reducing that requirement to 400 signatures. The US Court decision failed to provide further remedy and Breck's name was not placed on the ballot despite injunctive appeals to the Ninth Circuit Court and U.S. Supreme Court. Breck subsequently endorsed Independent write-in candidate Doug Campbell who was a co-plaintiff in the suit.[50][51][52]

Nominated[edit]

General election[edit]

Campaign[edit]

The night before the election, Gianforte physically assaulted Ben Jacobs, a reporter from The Guardian, in front of multiple witnesses, knocking him down, punching him, and breaking his glasses.[53] Gianforte was subsequently charged with misdemeanor assault.[54][55] The editorial boards of the Billings Gazette, the Independent Record, and the Missoulian rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte.[56]

The Gianforte campaign released a statement following the incident alleging the incident was caused by, "this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist", a claim contradictory to the eyewitness account of the Fox News team present in the room at the time. Alicia Acuna, one of two Fox news reporters present, and the only eye-witnesses to the incident, stated that Jacobs had walked into the room, put a voice recorder up to Gianforte's face and began asking questions. She stated that Jacobs, however, showed no sign of physical aggression and did not physically engage Gianforte before being attacked by the Republican candidate.[57][58]

On June 12, following the election, Gianforte was sentenced to community service and fined $385 after admitting the charge.[59]

Endorsements[edit]

Greg Gianforte
National politicians
Statewide officeholders
  • Elsie Arntzen, Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Montana
Local officeholders
Individuals
Organizations
Newspapers
Rob Quist
U.S. Senators
Governors
Local politicians
Individuals
Labor unions
Organizations
Websites
Mark Wicks
Organizations
Local Officeholders
  • Jeff Krauss, former Mayor of Bozeman, Montana[99]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Greg
Gianforte (R)
Rob
Quist (D)
Mark
Wicks (L)
Thomas
Breck (G)
Undecided
Change Research May 20–23, 2017 1,888 ± 2.0% 49% 44% 7%
Gravis Marketing May 22, 2017 818 ± 3.4% 49% 35% 8% 9%
Gravis Marketing May 2–4, 2017 462 ± 4.6% 45% 37% 5% 3% 10%
Gravis Marketing April 27, 2017 836 ± 3.4% 52% 39% 6% 2%
Garin-Hart-Yang (D) April 25–27, 2017 601 ± 4.0% 49% 43% 8%
Emerson College April 20–21, 2017 648 ± 3.8% 52% 37% 5% 7%
Gravis Marketing April 6, 2017 1,222 ± 2.9% 50% 38% 3% 2% 7%

Results[edit]

Montana's at-large congressional district special election, 2017[100]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Greg Gianforte 190,520 49.7% −6.5%
Democratic Rob Quist 169,214 44.1% +3.6%
Libertarian Mark Wicks 21,682 5.7% +2.4%
Nonpartisan write-in 1,885 0.5% N/A
Total votes 383,301 100.0%
Republican hold Swing

County results [101]

Greg Gianforte
Republican
Rob Quist
Democratic
Mark Wicks
Libertarian
Margin Total
County Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes Turnout
Beaverhead 2,237 62.47% 1,135 31.69% 209 5.84% 1,102 30.78% 3,621 53.92%
Big Horn 1,183 44.27% 1,348 50.45% 141 5.28% 165 6.18% 2,743 34.30%
Blaine 819 42.88% 928 48.59% 163 8.53% 109 5.71% 1,969 49.56%
Broadwater 1,481 65.39% 638 28.17% 146 6.45% 843 37.22% 2,282 53.52%
Carbon 2,550 53.20% 1,964 40.98% 279 5.82% 586 12.22% 4,845 63.79%
Carter 441 84.48% 58 11.11% 23 4.41% 383 73.37% 532 54.68%
Cascade 13,398 49.82% 11,513 42.81% 1,983 7.37% 1,885 7.00% 27,143 50.19%
Chouteau 1,234 57.91% 715 33.55% 182 8.54% 519 24.35% 2,149 61.29%
Custer 2,202 61.12% 1,167 32.39% 234 6.49% 1,035 28.73% 3,629 50.55%
Daniels 493 72.82% 150 22.16% 34 5.02% 343 50.66% 680 55.69%
Dawson 2,017 66.74% 826 27.33% 179 5.92% 1,191 39.41% 3,035 51.26%
Deer Lodge 948 28.94% 2,052 62.64% 276 8.42% 1,104 33.70% 3,313 60.64%
Fallon 702 81.25% 136 15.74% 26 3.01% 566 65.51% 868 43.95%
Fergus 2,986 66.28% 1,183 26.26% 336 7.46% 1,803 40.02% 4,557 58.74%
Flathead 20,257 57.44% 13,566 38.47% 1,444 4.09% 6,691 18.97% 35,462 51.85%
Gallatin 16,942 41.16% 22,545 54.77% 1,766 4.29% 5,603 13.61% 41,909 54.69%
Garfield 486 90.17% 29 5.38% 24 4.45% 457 84.79% 540 58.76%
Glacier 938 30.36% 1,975 63.92% 177 5.73% 1,035 33.50% 3,085 39.15%
Golden Valley 282 71.03% 88 22.17% 27 6.80% 194 48.87% 397 65.30%
Granite 835 60.03% 469 33.72% 87 6.25% 366 26.31% 1,399 59.58%
Hill 2,056 43.74% 2,073 44.11% 571 12.15% 17 0.36% 4,782 50.25%
Jefferson 2,994 56.68% 1,994 37.75% 292 5.53% 1,000 18.93% 5,322 62.49%
Judith Basin 636 65.50% 254 26.16% 81 8.34% 382 39.34% 975 67.66%
Lake 5,161 51.67% 4,384 43.89% 444 4.44% 777 7.78% 10,133 53.10%
Lewis and Clark 11,779 42.92% 14,264 51.97% 1,402 5.11% 2,485 9.05% 27,957 60.96%
Liberty 489 58.49% 208 24.88% 139 16.63% 281 33.61% 842 71.17%
Lincoln 4,471 65.41% 2,104 30.78% 260 3.80% 2,367 34.63% 6,855 50.03%
Madison 2,247 60.06% 1,235 33.01% 230 6.15% 1,012 27.05% 3,741 59.60%
McCone 632 76.14% 155 18.67% 37 4.46% 477 57.47% 830 67.04%
Meagher 516 66.15% 196 25.13% 63 8.08% 320 41.03% 780 59.68%
Mineral 911 58.85% 538 34.75% 99 6.40% 373 24.10% 1,548 49.41%
Missoula 15,137 31.96% 30,054 63.46% 1,968 4.16% 14,917 31.50% 47,356 56.14%
Musselshell 1,307 73.47% 324 18.21% 142 7.98% 983 55.26% 1,779 58.58%
Park 3,329 44.98% 3,678 49.70% 371 5.01% 349 4.72% 7,401 57.81%
Petroleum 203 79.30% 38 14.84% 14 5.47% 165 64.45% 256 60.24%
Phillips 1,374 75.33% 304 16.67% 137 7.51% 1,070 58.66% 1,824 66.45%
Pondera 1,267 58.07% 733 33.59% 174 7.97% 534 24.47% 2,182 61.99%
Powder River 570 77.87% 121 16.53% 41 5.60% 449 61.34% 732 56.92%
Powell 1,344 62.86% 622 29.09% 156 7.30% 722 33.77% 2,138 60.24%
Prairie 405 74.18% 104 19.05% 37 6.78% % 546 62.69%
Ravalli 10,480 59.34% 6,224 35.24% 833 4.72% % 17,660 57.95%
Richland 1,958 73.55% 601 22.58% 95 3.57% % 2,662 37.02%
Roosevelt 916 43.89% 1,030 49.35% 135 6.47% % 2,087 35.46%
Rosebud 1,400 57.49% 888 36.47% 141 5.79% % 2,435 48.40%
Sanders 2,903 63.5% 1,353 29.59% 295 6.45% % 4,572 54.38%
Sheridan 691 54.15% 483 37.85% 95 7.45% % 1,276 52.45%
Silver Bow 3,635 29.10% 7,872 63.03% 886 7.09% % 12,490 56.61%
Stillwater 2,429 67.16% 914 25.27% 248 6.86% % 3,617 58.92%
Sweet Grass 1,076 69.29% 403 25.95% 74 4.76% % 1,553 58.74%
Teton 1,536 58.05% 887 33.52% 204 7.71% % 2,646 65.19%
Toole 989 61.31% 443 27.46% 166 10.29% % 1,613 60.50%
Treasure 213 64.35% 79 23.87% 39 11.78% 134 40.48% 332 59.18%
Valley 1,904 62.78% 859 28.32% 270 8.90% 1,045 34.45% 3,035 67.79%
Wheatland 466 62.63% 198 26.61% 80 10.75% 268 36.02% 745 55.89%
Wibaux 273 78.90% 62 17.92% 11 3.18% 211 64.72% 348 46.96%
Yellowstone 29,980 55.79% 20,120 37.44% 3,634 6.76% 9,860 18.35% 54,066 55.70%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Dale Matheson. "13-25-203. Vacancy in office of United States senator or representative". Montana Legislative Services. 
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  4. ^ CNN, Jethro Mullen, May 25, 2017, "'An egregious assault': Twitter erupts over GOP candidate's alleged attack on reporter", Retrieved May 25, 2017.
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  21. ^ Lutey, Tom (January 10, 2017). "District Judge Fagg won't seek U.S. House seat". Billings Gazette. 
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  24. ^ Dana Liebelson (December 16, 2016). "White Nationalist Who Yelled 'Hail Trump!' Thinking About Congressional Run". The Huffington Post. 
  25. ^ Doherty, Brian (December 28, 2016). "Libertarian-leaning Montana State Rep. Daniel Zolnikov is Thinking About Montana's One Federal House Seat". Reason. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  26. ^ Daniel Zolnikov [@DanielZolnikov] (January 27, 2017). "FYI #mtnews, I sent a letter to Republican state central committee members last week informing them I'm not running" (Tweet). Retrieved March 1, 2017 – via Twitter. 
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  29. ^ a b Bobby Caina Calvan (March 5, 2017). "Rob Quist wins Democratic nomination for congressional seat". Great Falls Tribune. Associated Press. 
  30. ^ Lutey, Tom (January 4, 2017). "Democrat Amanda Curtis interested in U.S. House; Fagg, Graf join Republican list". Missoulian. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  31. ^ Carter, Troy (January 6, 2017). "Enviro attorney in Bozeman becomes 5th to seek Dem's nomination for U.S. House". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  32. ^ Ouellet, Nicky (February 7, 2017). "A Sixth Democrat Enters The Race For Zinke's House Seat". Montana Public Radio. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  33. ^ Briggeman, Kim (February 13, 2017). "Sentinel teacher to seek Democratic nomination for U.S. House". Missoulian. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  34. ^ Loranger, Erin (February 23, 2017). "Helena Democrat Weida to join race for Zinke's seat". Independent Record. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  35. ^ Kosted, Nathan (February 6, 2017). "Dan West: Democratic Candidate for Congress". Intelligent Discontent. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  36. ^ Mike Dennison (January 13, 2017). "Baucus' son considering U.S. House race, while musician Quist is all in". KPAX-TV. MTN News. 
  37. ^ Robinson, Joshua (January 23, 2017). "Juneau: I will not to pursue MT Congress seat". KULR-TV. 
  38. ^ Whitney, Eric. "Curtis In, Juneau, Schreiner Out Of Race For Zinke's Seat". Montana Public Radio. 
  39. ^ Kelly McCarthy [@Kelly4MT] (January 25, 2017). "Thank you @Robyn_Driscoll 'I am proud to endorse Kelly as he seeks a nomination to run to represent Montana in Congress.'" (Tweet). Retrieved March 5, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  40. ^ Kelly McCarthy [@Kelly4MT] (February 4, 2017). "Fmr. Senator Cliff Larsen Friday. 'Congress could learn a little more about leadership and a whole lot about sacrifice from Kelly.'" (Tweet). Retrieved March 5, 2017 – via Twitter. 
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  44. ^ Watts, Reggie (February 28, 2017). "Thank You, Reggie Watts for your support!". Retrieved March 1, 2017 – via Facebook. 
  45. ^ a b Calvan, Bobby Caina (March 11, 2017). "Libertarians Pick Inverness Rancher for Congressional Race". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  46. ^ Carter, Troy (January 4, 2017). "Libertarian Mark Wicks says he'll run for House to replace Zinke". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
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  53. ^ Wong, Julia Carrie; Levin, Sam (May 24, 2017). "Republican candidate 'body-slams' Guardian reporter in Montana". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  54. ^ Julia Carrie, Wong; Levin, Sam. "Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
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  62. ^ "Vice President Mike Pence coming to Billings to campaign for GOP candidate Greg Gianforte". Associated Press. May 8, 2017. 
  63. ^ Ryan Zinke [@RyanZinke] (March 6, 2017). "Congrats to @GregForMontana. I'm looking forward to calling you Congressman!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
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  66. ^ "Crow Tribe endorses Greg Gianforte for Congress". Matt Hudson. May 19, 2017. 
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  69. ^ The Billings Gazette Editorial Board (May 24, 2017). "Gazette opinion: We're pulling our endorsement of Gianforte". The Billings Gazette. Retrieved May 24, 2017. 
  70. ^ "Independent Record withdraws endorsement of Gianforte". Independent Record. Helena Independent Record. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
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  72. ^ "MT-AL: Sen. Al Franken (D. MN) Helps Populist Rob Quist (D) Get Ready For A Big Win On Thursday". Daily Kos. May 23, 2017. 
  73. ^ "MT-AL: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D. NV) Helps Rob Quist (D) Get Ready For A Big Win On Thursday". Daily Kos. May 23, 2017. 
  74. ^ Kaufman, Alexander (April 17, 2017). "Bernie Sanders Throws His Hat In With Montana Populist Rob Quist:". Huffington Post. 
  75. ^ Bernie Sanders [@aseitzwald] (April 17, 2017). "Bernie Sanders backs Rob Quist:" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  76. ^ Jon Tester [@jontester] (March 5, 2017). "My statement on the nomination of Rob Quist as candidate for U.S. House of Representatives" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  77. ^ "MT-AL: Sen. Jon Tester (D) Gives Rob Quist (D) A Big Boost Before Thursday's Election". Daily Kos. May 20, 2017. 
  78. ^ Elizabeth Warren [@elizabethforma] (May 25, 2017). "Happy Election Day, Montana! Go vote for @RobQuistforMT if you haven't already. Look up your polling place: iwillvote.com/ #mtal" (Tweet). Retrieved May 25, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  79. ^ "With only one representative in Congress, it's critical we have a voice for all Montanans. Rob Quist can be that voice, and I have no doubt he will run to win and will put our state's interests above his own. I congratulate Rob on the nomination". Steve Bullock. March 5, 2017. 
  80. ^ Governor Bullock for Quist. Team Quist Information. May 24, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  81. ^ Rob Quist [@RobQuistforMT] (April 18, 2017). "Thanks to Mayor of Bozeman Carson Taylor for introducing me in Bozeman this weekend. I had a great time at the office opening" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
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  83. ^ Rob Quist [@RobQuistforMT] (January 10, 2017). "Thank you @MichaelKeaton for the support in this election! Montana, side with Batman—vote this Thursday, May 25!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 25, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  84. ^ Alyssa Milano [@Alyssa_Milano] (April 27, 2017). "University of Montana! I'm here! Meet me at The Oval at 10am and I will drive you to early vote! Let's do this. #teamquist #robquist" (Tweet). Retrieved May 25, 2017 – via Twitter. 
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  87. ^ Montana State AFL-CIO [@MTaflcio] (March 22, 2017). "Mont AFL-CIO endorses Rob Quist for Congress. "Quist is a homegrown Montanan & understands the challenges working people face" #1u #mtpress" (Tweet). Retrieved May 25, 2017 – via Twitter. 
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  90. ^ "LCV Action Fund Endorses Rob Quist for Congress". Craig Auster. April 5, 2017. 
  91. ^ "MCV Endorses Rob Quist for U.S. House". Montana Conservation Voters. March 27, 2017. 
  92. ^ "Montana Sportsmen Alliance endorses Rob Quist". Cassidy Belus. April 24, 2017. 
  93. ^ "NARAL Endorses Pro-Choice Leader for Congress in Montana". NARAL Pro-Choice America. April 20, 2017. 
  94. ^ "We Must Protect Social Security and Medicare". Rob Quist for Congress. April 21, 2017. 
  95. ^ Northern Cheyenne Tribe Endorses Rob Quist in Billings, MT. Uphill Media. May 21, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  96. ^ Our Revolution [@OurRevolution] (March 20, 2017). "Two huge endorsements! We're supporting @RobQuistforMT and @JamesThompsonKS in their campaigns for U.S. Congress!" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  97. ^ Nir, David (March 9, 2017). "Daily Kos endorses Rob Quist, populist outsider, for Montana's special election for the House". Daily Kos. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  98. ^ Stewart, Brian (March 21, 2017). "MoveOn Members in Montana Endorse Inclusive Populist Rob Quist for U.S. House, Vowing to Take ACA Fight to the Ballot Box". Moveon. 
  99. ^ "News & Events". Wicksforfreedom.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  100. ^ "Montana Secretary of State". mtelectionresults.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  101. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/montana-house-special-election

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites