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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Democrats will compete in more legislative races than last election

Democrats will compete in more legislative races this year than last election cycle. The party hopes that, along with new district maps, it could disrupt Republicans' supermajority.

Montana Democrats said they will compete for roughly a dozen more legislative seats than they did in 2022, when the party left more than 30 races uncontested.

Senate Minority Leader Pat Flowers said he expects the party to pick up three to five seats in the senate. Having a few more seats could give Democrats a better chance of partnering with moderate Republicans to kill or pass bills.

“When you go from needing 10 votes to win the day on any particular bill to maybe seven or six, that's quite a bit different,” Flowers said.

Last session Democrats were in the super minority in Montana’s state house, with Republicans controlling over two thirds of seats in the legislature.

Minority Leader Kim Abbott said the new legislative district maps redrawn in 2023 could allow the party to pick up eight to 10 seats in the House. Party leaders said they are leaving seats uncontested when facing an extreme disadvantage.

Outside of the legislative contests, Democrats will leave two of the seats on the state’s utility oversight Public Service Commission uncontested to Republicans.

Monday was the filing deadline for candidates to announce their bids for office.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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