Connell beats Boulanger after provisional ballot count


HAMILTON, Mont. - There's a winner in that Republican State Senate race that was too close to call after last week's primary election in Ravalli County.

Even though the incumbent in Senate District 43 narrowed the margin from 39 to 34 votes after a provisional ballot count Monday, challenger Pat Connell still won the primary seat.

The margin isn't enough to give Scott Boulanger a recount.

Boulanger blamed his loss on Democrats voting in the GOP primary, and said he cites a state labor leader for launching a campaign to "sabotage" the Republican Party, with his race in "the crosshairs."

But Connell said he's grateful for the voters' trust, and said if elected he will represent everybody.

"Both Scott and I clearly communicated our respective positions on the issues to the electorate," said Connell. "They made their choice."

In a press release, Boulanger said Connell now "owes big favors to the Democrats and the unions that got him elected."

But Connell fired back, saying, he "did not get elected by a party machine.  I got elected by Montanans, " he said.

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