BILLINGS, Mont. -

Montana Republicans are weighing broad changes to how candidates are picked during primary election as the political party's convention concludes Saturday.
    
The three-day convention in Billings has emerged as the latest staging ground for moderate and conservative Republicans maneuvering for position within the party.
    
More than 200 delegates are expected to vote on a proposal advanced by conservatives to close primary elections to Democrats and other outside voters.
    
That comes after conservatives complained Democrats crossed party lines to bolster the chances of moderate Republicans in some contested races.
    
Another proposal calls for party leaders to endorse candidates more than a month before primaries are held.
    
Rep. Mike Miller, a Helmville Republican, called the proposal for party endorsements an "incumbent protection act" in which leaders would favor those already in office.