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Incumbent U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has won re-election to his third term, fending of a challenge from Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale.

Despite an unprecedented four trips to the state by President Donald Trump to try to defeat him, Tester emerged with 49 percent, or 218,145 votes, to Rosendale’s 48 percent, or 213,934 votes, in unofficial totals. That's a lead of 4,211 votes.

The race was expected to be close from the start; Tester has never captured 50 percent of the vote in his past two wins in 2006 and 2012. [Complete coverage of Montana's Senate race.]

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Republican incumbent Greg Gianforte appeared to have won re-election over Democrat Kathleen Williams Tuesday night in Montana's U.S. House race. 

With 313 precincts partially reporting and 331 fully reporting of 669, Gianforte held 53 percent of the vote to Williams' 44 percent, or 206,862 votes to 169,882 as of 3:10 a.m.

NBC called the race for Gianforte a little before midnight Tuesday, and Gianforte announced around that time that he was confident he would win, but was going to bed.  [Complete coverage of Montana's House race.] 

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Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton roundly defeated Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jay Nelson in the race for the new sheriff/coroner position Tuesday.

With 37 of 37 precincts partially reporting as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dutton had 22,159 votes (68 percent) and Nelson had 10,190 (32 percent).  

Dutton will take over the newly combined sheriff/coroner position in January 2019.

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Incumbent Katrina Chaney has taken a solid lead over Reg Hageman in the race for the Lewis and Clark County superintendent of schools position.

With 37 of 37 precincts partially reporting as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chaney had 16,976 votes (54 percent) and Hageman had 14,563 (46 percent).  

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Republican Brad Johnson wrapped up election night with his wife and some quiet time at home feeling pretty good about early results that saw him in the lead for public service commissioner in District 5. Johnson, the incumbent for the position, was running against Democrat Andy Shirtliff, who was throwing his hat in the political arena for the first time.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Johnson had 55,720 votes (59 percent) and Shirtliff had 38,918 (41 percent). 

Republican Randy Pinocci is the clear leader in the District 1 race for public service commissioner, with 60 percent and 38,032 votes as of 8 a.m. Wednesday. His opponent, Democrat Doug Kaercher, had 40 percent and 25,774 votes at that time. 

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Republican Bowen Greenwood has taken a slight lead in early election returns for Montana’s clerk of Supreme Court, with ballots from only 23 percent of the state’s registered voters counted.

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At 10 p.m., Greenwood had 50 percent of the vote to 45 percent of his main opponent, Democrat Rex Renk. Libertarian Roger Roots had 5 percent in the early returns.

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Montanans voting in this year's midterm election don't feel good about the direction the country is going, with 52 percent of people responding to a poll by the Associated Press saying is going in the wrong direction. Forty-four percent say it is going in the right direction.

Among people who voted in Tuesday's election, job approval for President Donald Trump was divided. About 48 percent of voters surveyed approved of his performance and 51 percent disapproved.

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Opponents of Initiative 186 were feeling good Tuesday night, as 59 percent of voters had rejected the proposal with about half of precincts partially reporting their results at 11 p.m.

But there were still a lot of votes to come in, and the fate of the measure was not yet certain.

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Here are results in Helena-area races for the Montana Legislature. And here is our complete coverage of the 2018 midterm election.


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