Recounts confirm Bukacek as winner of PSC primary on GOP ticket
Ann Bukacek is still the Republican winner in the Montana Public Service Commission District No. 5 primary, according to recounts in three of four counties.
Second place PSC candidate Derek Skees, who trailed Bukacek by 87 votes, requested a recount, the Montana Secretary of State’s Office announced last week.
The Secretary of State’s Office noted the recount for the four-way GOP primary would take place in Flathead, Teton, Lake and Lewis and Clark counties.
Monday, Secretary of State spokesperson Richie Melby said he anticipated the recount process would be completed sometime next week.
“Then, the Board of State Canvassers will convene and perform the recount canvass,” Melby said in an email. “After that, when both of those procedures have been completed, our office will notify the candidates.”
Tuesday, Bukacek said she wanted to stick with the facts and would not be celebrating until the Secretary of State’s website showed her as the winner.
The website still flags the Republican primary as being in recount territory, but the outcomes of recounts in three counties didn’t budge much for the seat on the body regulating monopoly utilities in Montana.
“So we’re getting close,” Bukacek said.
Lake County is set for a recount on July 18.
However, Lewis and Clark confirmed its original election results in a notice posted on its website.
In Teton County, Paula Jaconetty in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office said Tuesday that candidate Joe Dooling, who had received the most votes in that county, nabbed one more vote, but the results for Bukacek and Skees remained unchanged.
In Flathead County, where Skees won, the elections office’s Monica Eisenzimmer said the difference between Bukacek and Skees ended up changing by just two votes in favor of Skees.
She noted the outcome still put Bukacek ahead by 85 votes overall.
In Lake County, Bukacek took 40 percent of the vote, ahead of Dooling in second place with 27 percent. So the recount there next week likely means her name will be on the ballot for the November election along with Democrat John Repke’s.