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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Skees concedes to Bukacek following PSC District 5 Republican primary recount

A mail ballot from the 2020 Montana primary elections.
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 began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing shaylee.ragar@mso.umt.edu.