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Brockie beats Belcourt in House race

A challenger defeated an incumbent in a Democratic legislative primary, but with an extremely thin margin, close enough to call for a recount.

Clarena Brockie, dean of student affairs at the college at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, defeated incumbent Rep. Tony Belcourt, D-Box Elder, CEO of the Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, 370-367, in the unofficial results for the primary for House District 32.

The results of the victory will decide the next legislator for the district, as no Republicans or other-party candidates filed in that race.

Brockie said she is looking forward to serving the people from HD 32 and the state in general.

"I'm just excited, " she said, "I'm so excited. "

She said she plans to listen to the people of the state, especially working to help people who cannot help themselves, and to focus on the environment.

"I have so much to learn, " Brockie added.

The three-vote loss is just within the margins of Belcourt being able to request a recount, although with the margin, he must post a bond to cover the cost of the process.

Belcourt lost cell service while being interviewed by the Havre Daily News this morning, and could not be recontacted for comment by deadline.

Under state law, if the difference in votes are within ¼ of 1 percent or less of the total votes cast, a candidate may request a recount at no expense to the candidate. If the difference is between ¼ of 1 percent and ½ of 1 percent, the candidate may request a recount, but must post a bond, as set by the clerk and recorder of each county in which the election is held, to cover expenses.

The slim margin of victory mainly came with high voter turnout in Blaine County, which includes most of Fort Belknap.

In Blaine County, Brockie defeated Belcourt 253-131, with 384 votes — more than half of the 734 votes cast in the five-county legislative district — cast there.

In Hill County, which includes most of Rocky Boy, Belcourt won with 168 votes to Brockie's 72. In the northeast corner of Chouteau County that includes part of Rocky Boy, Belcourt beat Brockie 26-12.

In Phillips County, which includes the very eastern edge of Fort Belknap, Brockie narrowly defeated Belcourt with very few votes cast. The tally there was Brockie 21, Belcourt 14.

In the final county of the district, Valley, Belcourt won, taking 28 votes to Brockie's 12.


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