Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Troy Downing wins Republican primary race for Montana's Eastern Congressional District

Out of a crowded primary field, Republican Troy Downing secured his spot in the November General Election for Montana's Second Congressional District, also called the Eastern District.

The Associated Press called the race for Downing around 9:30 Tuesday night, as he was leading the field with 38% of the vote.

Downing, who serves as State Auditor, was one of eight Republicans vying for the seat, currently held by Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale.

Rosendale, who has represented Montana in Congress since 2014, announced in March that he would not be seeking re-election to his seat.

The other Republicans on the primary ballot were Elsie Arntzen, Kyle Austin, Ken Bogner, Ric Holden, Joel Krautter, Denny Rehberg, Ed Walker, and Stacy Zinn. Despite being printed on the ballot, Walker suspended his race in April and was not seeking election.

Around the time the race was called for Downing, his two closest competitors were six-term former Congressman Denny Rehberg, who had 17% of the vote at the time, then former DEA agent Stacy Zinn, who had 15% of the vote at the time.

All of other candidates received less than 10% of the vote.

Downing held a watch party for supporters and the media on Tuesday night in Billings and addressed the room full of people after the race was declared in his favor.

"I want to thank the other candidates that were in this and I commend them for their commitment to public service," Downing said. "But tonight, we celebrate and we unite as Republicans. And tomorrow we continue to work everyday to win in November."

By late Tuesday night, it was still unclear whom Downing will be running against on the November ticket.

The four-way Democratic primary race was at closer margins than the Republican race throughout Tuesday evening.

The Democrats on the ticket were Ming Cabrera, John Driscoll, Kevin Hamm and Steve Held.

As of 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, Driscoll was leading the race with 34% of the vote, while Held had 26%, Cabrera had 22% and Hamm had 19%.

Copyright 2024 Yellowstone Public Radio

Jackie Coffin
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information