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Election Kelsey Irwin

Kelsey Irwin, 21, signed in to vote, Tuesday, at the Corvallis poll where there was a low voter turn out.

Dipping deep into his own pocketbook worked for Republican state Senate candidate Jason Ellsworth of Hamilton.

Ellsworth defeated incumbent Sen. Pat Connell by a vote of 1,809 to 1,550. The third Republican candidate in the primary race, Scott McLean, received 1,064 votes.

The winner of the race will face Independent candidate Laura Garber in November.

In Republican primary for House District 86, David Bedey won easily over challenger, Jacob DeVries, with a vote of 1,219 to 759. The winner will meet Democrat Jason Nickisch in the general election this fall.

In a three-way Republican race for the House District 88 seat, Sharon Greef defeated former Stevensville mayor Jim Crews by vote of 776 to 603. Kim Stoltz received 285 votes.

The seat was formerly held by Greef’s husband, Ed, who termed out this last year. The winner of the race will face Democrat Margaret Gorski.

In the only Democrat primary race in Ravalli County, Laura Jackson won with a vote of 365. Her opponent, Mary Toews, had withdrawn from the race too late to get her name removed from the ballot. She received 162 votes.

In what amounted to a straw poll, incumbent Justice of the Peace, Department 2 Jim Bailey defeated former Ravalli County sheriff Perry Johnson by a vote of 5,598 to 5,156 votes. The race will be decided in the general election this fall. 

Bitterroot Valley residents overwhelmingly voted to increase funding for the Valley Veterans Service Center by passing a 2-mill levy with a vote of 8,088 to 2,805. .

Ravalli County Elections Administrator Regina Plettenberg said Ravalli County matched the state in voter turnout with 41 percent of its residents casting a ballot. 

About 9,000 of the 12,323 ballots cast were absentee. 

"It was almost three to one absentees in this election," Plettenberg said. 

She expects that trend to continue with the number of absentee voters growing and the numbers at the polls continuing to decline. 

See ravallirepublic.com for the latest vote totals.

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Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.