Tim MacDonald Havre Daily News email@example.com
There was an air of cautious optimism at the Eagles Club last night as local Democrats gathered to watch the votes be counted. Candidates Bob Bergren and Ken “Kim” Hansen were there. The votes started coming in about 9:30 p.m., and by 11:30 p.m., it was pretty obvious that they were both going to hold their state seats. Then the attention turned to the national race. The Democrats had already taken control of the House of Representatives, and the race was still on for the Senate. Big Sandy farmer and rancher Jon Tester was in the lead for one of the two closely contested seats when the group started to pick up their casseroles and head for the door. Bergren retained his seat for House District 33. “I want to thank those who voted for me, and to let everybody know that now that the election is over I represent everybody, the people who voted for me, those who voted against me and even those who didn’t vote,” Bob Bergren said. “I represent everybody in my district when I go down there, and I think my record shows that.” Bergren said the success of the Democratic regime in Helena may have helped change some minds on how they viewed the Democrats on the national level. “The Republicans were in control for 16 years, and when we took control we showed the people that we can balance the budget, we can live within our means we can do it without raising taxes. We can fund education, we can take care economic development and do it all with no more taxes,” Bergren said. “The governor and his conservative stance, and me and my conservative stance. I think it works good for Montana. We have plans for economic development, things that affect this area like bio fuels development and coal liquification. Things that will bring jobs to our districts and also the state of Montana,” he added. “I think we’ve seen a lot of pocketbook issues that woke people up as far as the Democratic party. I think deregulation is a prime example of where the people in Helena affected a lot of people’s spending,” Bergren said. “Nationally people are ready for a change. I think they are frustrated and that Showed up at the polls,” he said. Hansen also will return to Helena to represent Senate District 17. “I would just like to say a big thank you to all the people who came out and voted for me in Hill County and Blaine County. I think that we’ve turned this state around and we want to continue to work for the state. Voters have seen what the governor has done, what the legislature has done and I think they can expect the same kind of thing for 2007,” Hansen said. “I think the national election does affect Montana. I think a lot of the change we’ve seen with Jon Tester and Conrad Burns, they follow a trickledown effect. I think this country wants change, and that’s what they are getting,” he said. John L. Musgrove retained his seat, running unopposed for House District 34, as did Jonathan Windy Boy in House District 32.