(KPAX) Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale has defeated Democrat Kathleen Williams for Montana’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As of midnight, Rosendale had garnered 250,101 votes, and Williams 207,774 votes.
The Montana U.S. House contest, seen as a potential swing race, drew attention from national groups on both sides of the political aisle, who spent in excess of $8 million.
Williams, 59 years old, a former state lawmaker and officer of a land-conservation group from Bozeman, ran for the seat two years ago and lost to Gianforte by five percentage points. She announced in April 2019 that she would run for the seat again, as word circulated that Gianforte was preparing to run for governor.
Rosendale, a rancher and real-estate developer from Glendive, got into the race as soon as Gianforte announced in June 2019 that he would run for governor in 2020.
Rosendale, 60, won election as state auditor in 2016 and challenged Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in 2018, narrowly losing. He also ran for U.S. House in 2014, but lost in the Republican primary. He also served as a state senator and representative from Glendive.
The at-large seat was open because incumbent Republican Greg Gianforte decided to run for governor. Earlier this evening, Gianforte declared victory over Democrat challenger Mike Cooney.