Tuesday night’s primary election result counts were an excruciating process for everyone watching, but Hill County Republicans made the best of it at their 1st Street headquarters.
From an hour before the polls closed at 8 p. m. until about 11 p. m., local GOP members got together to watch results trickle in on local party chair Andrew Brekke’s iPad, projected on the wall, while enjoying snacks and preparing campaign materials for the races that weren’t waiting on a definitive candidate.
“The Republicans just know how to party, ” Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, joked. “I guess that’s why we call it the Republican ‘party. ’”
Candidates and supporters discussed their strategies as the focus shifted toward the general election on Nov. 6.
Now-confirmed Senate District 17 Republican nominee Don Richman was thanking Warburton and fellow Rep. Kris Hansen, R-Havre, for their advice from their experiences in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
“Wendy and Kris have pushed me since day one to get out the door and hit the streets, ” Richman said.
Toward the end of the evening, as it became clear that Richman was the clear winner, he said how “humbled and pleased” he was with the result.
“To me it’s always scary, but then when you find out you did well, it feels good all over, ” Richman said.
Now he’s ready to focus on the race against Democrat Greg Jergeson.
“I think he’s had his opportunity, ” Richman said. “And now I’m asking the people for mine. ”
He said he has known Jergeson for years.
“Greg’s a good guy, ” Richman said. “It won’t be a dirty campaign. ”
Brekke ended the night, saying “I feel good. ”
“There’s still a lot of energy, ” Brekke said. “I think it can be a challenge to carry over the energy from one election to the next, but I think we’ve found the right stride. ”
The Hill County Democratic Party seems to have carried over their lack of energy from recent elections, not holding any Democratic event last night.