UPDATED: GOP’s Ann Bukacek takes lead in PSC race

By: - June 7, 2022 11:46 pm

Montana Public Service Commission (via PSC Twitter account).

Ann Bukacek was ahead Wednesday morning on the Republican side for the Montana Public Service Commission, with Rep. Derek Skees close behind in District Five. Bukacek had 10,497 votes to Skees’ 10,440. Joe Dooling slipped from an earlier lead Tuesday to 9,443. Dean Crabb had 2,931.

On the Democratic side, retired private sector finance manager John Repke remained ahead of Kevin Hamm, who runs an internet company. Repke had 54 percent of the vote, or 7,722, and Hamm had 46 percent, with 6,519 with most votes counted.

Five elected Public Service Commissioners regulate monopoly utilities in Montana. This year, commissioners from Districts One and Five are on the ballot.

Incumbent Randy Pinocci looks headed for another term with the Public Service Commission with nearly twice the votes of his challenger.

Pinocci had nabbed most of the votes late Tuesday in District One for the Republican primary for Public Service Commission, a healthy 65 percent, with 28 percent of precincts counted, according to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office. By Wednesday morning, he had 18,193 votes.

Former Bureau of Indian Affairs officer K. Webb Galbreath, the only challenger in the district made up of roughly northeast Montana, counted 35 percent, or 9,764.

No Democrats were on the ballot for District One.

This story will be updated.

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Keila Szpaller
Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. In Montana since 1998, she loves hiking in Glacier National Park, wandering the grounds of the Archie Bray and sitting on her front porch with friends. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana. She worked there from 2006 to 2020. As a Missoulian reporter, she was named a co-fellow by the Education Writers Association to report on a series about economic mobility; grantee of the Society of Environmental Journalists for a project on conservation from the U.S. to Africa; and Kiplinger Fellow in Digital Media and Public Affairs Journalism. She previously worked at the Great Falls Tribune and Missoula Independent, and she earned her master’s in journalism from the University of Montana. She lives in Missoula with her husband, Brock, who is also her favorite chef, and her pup, Henry, who is her favorite adventure companion. She believes she deserves to wear the T-shirt with this saying: “World’s most mediocre runner.”