HELENA, Mont. -

In an election year dominated by high-profile campaigns, one race that has dropped below many voters' radars is for Montana Supreme Court.

District Judge Laurie McKinnon of Choteau and public defender Ed Sheehy of Missoula are in a close race to replace the retiring Justice James Nelson.

McKinnon touts her five years of experience as a judge. She says her philosophy is to protect constitutional rights, respect the role of the Legislature and be mindful of the separation of the branches of government.

Sheehy downplays the importance of judicial experience. He says he knows the law after 34 years of practicing civil and criminal cases and that's what qualifies him.

A new poll commissioned by Lee Newspapers finds more than a quarter of the voters are undecided in the race.