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UPDATED 9 p.m. :

Democrat Debbie Dumler was perched tonight on the speaker’s stage at her party’s election celebration.

It was a day of firsts for the Laurel voter - her first election party and the first time she voted a straight ticket in a general election.

"Democratic all the way," Dumler said.

She is among several hundred celebrants at the Democrat election party at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Billings. With five large-screen televisions on the walls, along with dozens of candidate posters, the crowd roared with each result announced in the presidential race.

A slight lull fell over the crowd as Sen. Jon Tester’s live interview was aired on television, but soon the live band, Funk in the Trunk, started up again and so did the robust conversation.

Sen. Max Baucus entered the party to the strains of the song "You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’ and deafening applause.

Sen. Jon Tester introduced Baucus saying that while the nation is on the verge of making history with the election of Sen. Barack Obama, "Montana is creating a little history of its own tonight," by making Baucus the first Montana senator to serve six terms.

Baucus, flanked by campaign staff, friends and family, roused the crowd by asking "Isn’t this a great night?" He thanked voters "from the bottom of my heart."

"You voted for me and I’m going to keep voting for you," he said.

The country still has mountains to climb, he added.

"That’s our fate, especially as Democrats," he said and listed healthcare, the economy and an "addiction to foreign oil" as issues still to be dealt with.

"And there’s one person I am proud to climb these mountains with and his name is Barack Obama," Baucus said.

Baucus lauded Obama and was about to wrap up his speech when someone called out "Barack Obama just won Yellowstone country."

The crowd went wild. Actually, Obama was leading among early voters, who were already counted by the time polls closed at 8 p.m.

"As we all know, as Yellowstone goes, so goes Montana," Baucus said to the loudest applause of the evening.


First report:

Democrat Debbie Dumler was perched tonight on the speaker's stage at her party's election celebration.

It was a day of firsts for the Laurel voter - her first election party and the first time she voted a straight ticket in a general election.

"Democratic all the way," Dumler said.

She is among several 100 celebrants at the Democrat election party at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Billings. With five large-screen televisions on the walls, along with dozens of candidate posters, the crowd roared with each result announced in the presidential race.

A slight lull fell over the crowd as Sen. Jon Tester's live interview was aired on television, but soon the live band, Funk in the Trunk, started up again and so did the robust conversation.

Sen. Max Baucus was expected to arrive soon at the party.

People congregated near the entrance - after an aide asked those nearby if they would like to shake the incumbent's hand - but most were spread across the ballroom, shoulder-to-shoulder sipping drinks and visiting.

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