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VIRGINIA CITY — The undersheriff of a small southwestern Montana county won a write-in campaign over the suspended sheriff.

ABC Fox Montana reports Madison County Undersheriff Phil Fortner defeated Sheriff Roger Thompson in Tuesday's general election.

County officials said the unofficial tally was 2,679 for Fortner and 1,602 for Thompson.

Thompson had been running unopposed until he was charged with evidence tampering in September and suspended without pay for three months. He has pleaded not guilty to tampering as well as charges of official misconduct and perjury.

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Prosecutors allege Thompson took methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from a confidential informant before a controlled drug buy in June 2017, didn't enter the drugs into evidence and lied in an application to search the seller's house by saying no drugs were found on the informant.

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