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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

MTPR On Scene At Lewis Watch Party

Steve Jess

Helena's Democrats have chosen a very memorable setting for their watch party: It's Exploration Works, a science museum normally teeming with school-age children. Candidates and party officials are wandering among the exhibits that highlight the inner life of cells, or explaining how solar power works.

It's a colorful background for this election night, though some of the seats are a bit lower to the ground than you might be accustomed to.

Most of attention among Montana Democrats is directed toward John Lewis, a former staffer for Senator Max Baucus, who's trying to run against the grain in this year when Republicans are heavily favored around the country. Lewis stopped by Exploration Works earlier this evening, while the polls were still open:

Polling shows John Lewis trailing Republican Ryan Zinke, a former state senator and navy SEAL commander. Lewis staff member Kathy Weber says a higher turnout might swing the race in their direction, though. Also in the race is Libertarian Mike Fellows.

Democrats are girding themselves for what could be a long and rough night nationally. Having a competitive race in Montana could make things much more interesting for them.

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