2020 Vote: Sweeney pulls out win in Montana Senate race
GRANITE COUNTY – Like the presidential race, the Montana Senate District 39 race ran through the night and into Wednesday morning before a winner could be decided.
Mark Sweeney (D) found a two percent margin of victory over Suzzann Nordwick (R) to claim the seat that represents parts of four different counties.
“It was a tough and long campaign through the primary until today and it is great to get the win,” said Sweeney, who served as the House District 77 representative in 2018. “I am proud to be the Senator from Granite County and I look forward to meeting with constituents to discuss what they expect from their Senator.
“We are a diverse County and District with tremendous natural resources. Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry and Granite county raises and ships some of the best beef in the world. I want to focus on working with that industry as well as Main Street Businesses and our recreation industry. Once we get a handle on Covid19 our focus has to be on getting the economy firing on all cylinders but our overall health is primary. I look forward to working with Governor Elect Gianforte and I expect his priorities will be similar to mine. In the short term I have my truck loaded with guns and a boat and my wife and I are heading to eastern Montana with our dog to hunt pheasant and deer. We will relax and experience the best of what Montana has to offer for the next couple of days.”
Sweeney easily won the vote in Silver Bow and Deer Lodge counties, while Nordwick won in Granite and Powell. The Democratic vote was hampered by the write-in candidacy of Gordon Pierson, who gained sparse support everywhere but in his home county of Powell County where he earned approximately 25%. The vote hurt Sweeney in the overall count, but not enough to cost him the Senate seat.
House District 77
The race for this Montana legislature seat was not as close, with Sara Novak (D) beating Heather Blom (R) 3,057 (53%) to 2,728 (47%).
"I am both humbled and honored by the support I have received from the voters in HD 77," said Novak in an email to the Courier Wednesday. "Thank you to those who voted, cheered me on and helped in any way with the campaign. I am grateful to all of you and I look forward to serving you. I am looking forward to learning about and preparing for the session in the next several weeks. There is no doubt things will look different this session, but I am willing to be flexible and do what is needed."
Blom ran for this seat in 2016 and 2018 but has not made a single campaign appearance or speech.
Granite County Hospital District Mill Levy
The mill levy fror the Granite County Medical Center received voter approval for its funding again, winning 1,051 (53.4%) to 916 (46.6%)
“On behalf of the hospital district and all of our employees, I want to thank Granite County for supporting the hospital district mill levy,” said GCMC CEO Maria Stoppler. “Thank you for recognizing the value health care services bring to our community. We are dedicated to you and we will continue to focus our efforts on providing high quality care and the services you need most.
“I’d like to give a special thank you to the H&R Thrift Store, Jim Jenner, Philipsburg Marketing and all those who advocate in support of Hometown Health care.”
NOTE - Story updated with quote from Novak.