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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Skees concedes to Bukacek following PSC District 5 Republican primary recount

A 2020 Montana primary election absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet
Yellowstone Public Radio
A 2020 Montana primary election absentee ballot

A state lawmaker has conceded the race for a seat on the state’s utility oversight board after requesting a recount. Annie Bukacek, a Flathead area doctor, is the presumptive winner of the Republican primary race by a razor thin margin.

Republican Rep. Derek Skees acknowledged his loss to Bukacek in an interview with MTPR at the Montana GOP convention over the weekend.

“We do not want a Democrat in the PSC, so I wish her the best of luck and hope that when she wins she does a great job serving the state of Montana.”

Bukacek declined to comment for this story. She will face Democrat Jon Repke of Whitefish in the general election for district five of the Public Service Commission.

Skees requested a recount in the race after the June 7 primary results revealed Bukacek had received just 87 more votes than the state legislator. That slim margin fell within the threshold to trigger a state-funded recount of votes.

All four counties that were required to conduct a recount in the race had completed the task by Monday afternoon with Bukacek maintaining her lead.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.