HELENA — When they're done scrambling for votes, Montana's major candidates for the U.S. Senate will scatter across the state and nation — to await the voters' verdicts tonight.
Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns will be keeping track of the returns in the Washington, D.C., area tonight. He had planned to stay for the expected primary victory celebration, but plans have changed.
Burns will cast his primary ballot in Billings Tuesday before catching a flight back to the nation's capital. He wants to be present Wednesday so he can vote in the Senate for a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.
His chief Republican primary rival, state Senate Minority Leader Bob Keenan will be at home in Bigfork. He said he'll have a huge party with his campaign staff — his wife, Suzie, himself and their kids.
On the Democratic side, state Auditor John Morrison will wind up in his hometown of Helena. His campaign plans a election-night gathering for supporters and well-wishers at Bert and Ernie's Dining Saloon and Grill.
Jon Tester, who is battling with Morrison for the Democratic nomination, plans a party in Missoula. The Big Sandy farmer and state Senate president will be greeting supporters and watching the returns at Montana's Lounge at Holiday Inn-Parkside.
Also running in the Senate are Republicans Bob Kelleher of Butte, a 1972 delegate to the Montana Constitutional Convention, and Daniel Lloyd Teste Huffman of Great Falls.
Other Democratic candidates for the Senate are former state Rep. Paul Richards of Boulder, who last week threw his support to Tester; Robert Candee of Richey; and Kenneth Marcure, a Missoula man who has lived in Japan for most of the past 30 years.