HELENA, Mont. -

Steve Daines has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Montana, defeating state Rep. Champ Edmunds and political newcomer Susan Cundiff in the primary election.

The first-term congressman from Bozeman will go on to face Tuesday's winner of the three-way battle for the Democratic nomination.

With 2 percent of precincts reporting, Daines captured 86 percent of the vote over his two competitors.

The 51-year-old Daines jumped into the Senate race less than halfway through his first House term, sensing an opportunity to bring the seat back to Republicans.

Democrat Max Baucus announced last year he wouldn't run again and was later appointed U.S. ambassador to China.