After a second full day to file as a candidate for the 2012 election, little had changed on the state level in the Havre after the first day, with few legislative candidates filing for election or re-election and Republicans dominating the statewide races.
One new candidate had entered the race for the state’s only U. S. representative seat, being vacated by Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg in his bid to unseat Sen. Jon Tester in the race for Tester’s seat.
Jason Ward of Hardin filed as a candidate in the House race Friday, joining Robert Stutz of Helena on the Democratic primary ticket.
Other Democrats who have said they would run, including state lawmakers Sen. Kim Gillan of Billings and Rep. Franke Wilmer of Bozeman and Missoula City Council member Dave Strohmaier, had not filed at the close of business Friday. Neither has Republican Steve Daines of Bozeman.
Rehberg has filed as a candidate for the Senate race, and although Tester had not as of Friday, a spokesman said the senator will do so.
Republicans Neil Livingstone and running mate Ryan Zinke remain the only candidates who have filed for the governor’s race.
Incumbent Democrat Brian Schweitzer cannot run for re-election due to term limits.
No Democrats, including the incumbents in three offices, have filed as candidates in the other statewide elections.
Incumbent Attorney General Steve Bullock has stated his intention to run for governor, but has not yet filed.
The only candidate to file so far for his position is Republican Sen. Jim Shockley of Victor.
Candidates who filed for the other three statewide positions are Rep. Derek Skees, R-Whitefish, for state auditor, Scott Aspenleider of Helena for secretary of state, and Sandy Welch of Helena for superintendent of public instruction.
The incumbent Democrats in those positions, Auditor Monica Lindeen, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch and Superintendent Denise Juneau, are expected to run for re-election but had not filed as of Friday.
In local elections, incumbent Sen. Craig Tilleman, R-Havre, appointed to take the seat in Senate District 17 in Hill and Blaine counties, faces a primary challenge by Don Richman of Harlem.
Former state senator and chair of the Public Service Commission Greg Jergeson of Chinook has filed as Democrat in that race.
In Senate District 16, stretching from Chouteau and Hill counties east through Roosevelt County, former Sen. Frank Smith of Poplar, now a state representative, is the only candidate to file so far.
Incumbent Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder, who defeated Smith in both the Democratic primary in the district in 2008 and then in the general election when Smith ran as an independent, had not filed by the end of Friday. Windy Boy had not returned a call from the Havre Daily News this morning by the paper’s deadline.
In legislative races, Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, representing House District 33, was the only candidate to file so far in races impacting Hill and Blaine counties.
Incumbent Rep. Roy Hollandsworth, R-Brady, representing House District 28 in Chouteau, Liberty and Toole counties, and incumbent Rep. Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo, in House District 29 in Chouteau, Fergus and Judith Basin counties, were the only candidates who have filed in those races.