Billings Gazette: Republican Daines defeats Curtis in U.S. Senate race

BOZEMAN — U.S. Rep. Steve Daines defeated Democrat Amanda Curtis on Tuesday night in Montana’s U.S. Senate race, becoming the first Republican in 100 years to win the seat — and also helping his party win back control of the Senate.

The Associated Press and major news networks called the race seconds after the polls closed in Montana at 8 p.m., and Daines had a 12-point lead with about half the votes counted.

Daines was winning with about 55 percent, or 112,000 votes, to Curtis’ 43 percent, or 87,000 votes. Libertarian Roger Roots had 2 percent, or 4,000 votes.

In an interview shortly after being declared the winner, Daines said he’d heard from many Montanans who had “lost their confidence in the federal government,” and yearned for a change of leadership that would start addressing the nation’s problems, rather than be locked in partisan gridlock.

“They’re looking for leaders who bring skills from outside of Washington, from businesses, running small and large businesses, bringing those skills to Washington to solve the problems, of which we have a long list,” said the former executive of a Bozeman software development company.