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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Six candidates join the race for Public Service Commission in district 5

The map of Montana's Public Service Commission districts created by federal judges, March 8, 2022.
The map of Montana's Public Service Commission districts created by federal judges, March 8, 2022.

The race for the fifth seat on Montana’s utility regulatory and oversight board is a crowded one.

Four Republicans and two Democrats are running to replace current Public Service Commission district five Commissioner and Vice President Brad Johnson, who is a Republican. The district represents counties near the Continental Divide in northwest Montana. It’s one of two district seats on the ballot this year.

The Republicans running for the seat include Annie Bukacek, Dean Crabb, Joe Dooling and Derek Skees. Democrats Kevin Hamm and John Repke also filed.

Hamm has raised the most money for his campaign with about $14,000. Bukacek has brought in the most money of any Republican by way of a $10,000 loan to herself from her Kalispell-based medical practice.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.