With 57 percent of the ballots counted early Wednesday morning, former state legislator Kathleen Williams appeared headed to a surprise win in the Montana Democratic primary for the state’s sole seat in the U.S. House.
If she prevails over the crowded field, she will face one-term incumbent Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte in November. Hers was the tightest statewide race of the evening, with a few as 100 votes separating Williams from Billings attorney John Heenan at several points.
At 1 a.m., the secretary of state’s office was reporting that Williams had 32,999 votes to 31,933 for Heenan. Grant Kier was in third with 23,167. Lynda Moss, who withdrew from the race several weeks ago but whose name appeared on the ballot, still managed to come in fourth, as of 1 a.m., with 4,934 votes, trailed by John Meyer with 3,194 votes and Jared Pettinato 2,101.
Earlier in the evening, when he held a slender lead, Heenan said he had no regrets, and would have done nothing differently.
“We left it all on the field, to use a tired football analogy, but really and truly,” he said.