Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, Montana’s sole member of the U.S. House, was confident early Wednesday that he’d secured re-election to the seat and went home to bed.
But his challenger, Democrat Kathleen Williams, wasn’t willing to concede the race with tens of thousands of votes left to be counted – many of them from more liberal, urban parts of the state.
She said that she’d be staying up until the final tally was known – which could be hours.
Williams, in fact, led the race for much of Tuesday night before election results began appearing from Montana’s conservative rural counties.
By 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Gianforte was showing 195,186 votes, or 54 percent, to Williams’ 157,325 votes, or 43 percent.
That was with 295 of 669 precincts partially counted and 321 fully counted.
Both candidates appeared at Election Night rallies in Bozeman late Tuesday, thanking supporters and expressing optimism.
Watch Missoula Current for continued updates as they’re available.