VAN DYK

Van Dyk wins Senate District 25 race by margin of 4 votes

Final tally: 3,106 - 3,102
2010-11-29T06:03:00Z 2010-12-30T09:46:36Z Van Dyk wins Senate District 25 race by margin of 4 votesGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
November 29, 2010 6:03 am  • 

Kendall Van Dyk has defeated incumbent Roy Brown in the race for Senate District 25.

Van Dyk, a Democrat who led by eight votes when county officials began a recount on Monday morning, edged Brown by four votes.

The district includes north-central Billings.

“The charge is to go to Helena and for Democrats and Republicans to work together to pass a balanced budget,” Van Dyk said after the recount.

Brown, a Republican, shook hands with Van Dyk after Yellowstone County officials counted the final precinct and then left the Courthouse.

“It's been a pleasure serving the people of Senate District 25 for the last 12 years,” Brown said.

Van Dyk said he would work hard to represent all voters in the district, including the 49.95 percent who didn't support him.

The final tally was 3,106 to 3,102. Because the ballot margin was less than a quarter of a percentage point, Brown wasn't billed for the recount.

The recount, which began at 7 a.m. Monday, was a tense roller coaster ride for the candidates as vote totals shifted back and forth. County Commissioners Jim Reno, John Ostlund and District Court Clerk Carol Muessig took turns counting up the votes for each candidate and then trading ballots and counting again.

“No precinct ended up exactly the same,” Van Dyk said.

The final tally ended the most expensive legislative race in state history. Together, the candidates raised more than $234,000. The amount pencils out to roughly $37 per voter in the race, which produced 6,210 ballots.

Van Dyk has spent four years representing half of the Senate district as a representative of House District 49, where he had twice won easily. He risked sitting out the 2011 Legislature by challenging Brown.

The Montana Democratic Party, through political action committees, poured tens of thousands of dollars into Van Dyk's upset bid. The effort produced the party's only defeat of a Republican incumbent on a night when Democrats lost 18 House seats and two incumbents in the Senate.

Brown has served Senate District 25 since 2007 and before that represented a portion of the district in the House from 1999 to 2006.

Contact Tom Lutey at tlutey@billingsgazette.com or 657-1288


AFTERNOON UPDATE: Kendall Van Dyk has defeated incumbent Roy Brown in the race for Senate District 25.

Van Dyk,  a Democrat who led by eight votes when county officials began a recount Monday morning, edged Brown by four votes.

The district includes north-central Billings.

"The charge is to go to Helena and for Democrats and Republicans to work together to pass a balanced budget," Van Dyk said after the recount.

Brown, a Republican, shook hands with Van Dyk after Yellowstone County officials counted the final precinct and then left the courthouse.

"It's been a pleasure serving the people of Senate District 25 for the last 12 years," Brown said.

Van Dyk said he would work hard to represent all voters in the district, including the 49.95 percent who didn't support him.

The final tally was 3,106 to 3,102. Because the ballot margin was less than a quarter of a percentage point, Brown wasn't billed for the recount.

The recount, which began at 7 a.m. Monday, was a tense rollercoaster ride for the candidates as vote totals shifted back and forth. County Commissioners Jim Reno, John Ostlund and District Court Clerk Carol Muessig took turns counting up the votes for each candidate and then trading ballots and counting again.

"No precinct ended up exactly the same," Van Dyk said.

The final tally ended the most expensive legislative race in state history. Together, the candidates raised more than $234,000. The amount pencils out to roughly $37 per voter in the race, which produced 6,210 ballots.

Van Dyk has spent four years representing half of the senate district as a representative of House District 49, where he had twice won easily. He risked sitting out the 2011 Legislature by challenging Brown.

The Montana Democratic party, through political action committees poured tens of thousands of dollars into Van Dyk's upset bid. The effort produced the party's only defeat of a Republican incumbent on a night when Democrats lost 18 House seats and two incumbents in the Senate.

Brown has served Senate District 25 since 2007 and before that represented a portion of the district in the House from 1999 to 2006.

 


NOON UPDATE:

Kendall Van Dyk has defeated incumbent Roy Brown in the race for Senate District 25.

Van Dyk, who led by eight votes when county officials began a recount this morning, edged Brown by four votes at noon.

Brown shook hands with Van Dyk before leaving. Van Dyk said he would represent all voters in the district.

The final tally was 3,106-3,102.


MORNING REPORT:

The hand recount in the Senate race between incumbent Roy Brown and Kendall Van Dyk has begun.

The two candidates and 17 other officials were present when the recount began at 7 a.m. in the County Commissioner chambers.

Yellowstone County Elections Officer Bret Rutherford says that counting at the Yellowstone County Courthouse will last four to six hours.

Brown, a Republican, formally requested the recount last week. He trails Van Dyk, a Democrat, by eight votes out of 6,210 cast to determine a winner for the Senate District 25 seat.

Because the difference in vote totals is less than a quarter of a percentage point, Brown is not being charged for the recount.

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