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Ryan Zinke wins Republican nomination for Montana's western district House seat

 Ryan Zinke.
U.S. House of Representatives
Ryan Zinke.

Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has won the GOP primary for Montana’s western U.S House district. The Associated Press called the race two days after polls closed.

Zinke was seen as the presumed front-runner of the race, having raised nearly four times the money of the second place candidate, Al Olszewski. But they were neck and neck as results started coming in Tuesday.

Unofficial results show Zinke won 42% of the vote to Olszewski's 40%.

In a statement, Zinke thanked his supporters for their "confidence that America can be fixed and for ignoring the political BS."

Results were delayed coming in due to a ballot printing error in Lincoln County resulting in all ballots there being counted by hand.

Zinke, a former state lawmaker who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, beat out Al Olszewski, an orthopedic surgeon and former state lawmaker; Mary Todd, a Kalispell pastor; Mitch Heuer, a business owner; and Matt Jette, a Missoula teacher.

Zinke will move onto the general election and compete against Monica Tranel, the winner of the Democratic primary.

For the first time in 30 years, Montanans will elect two representatives to the U.S. House on November 8.

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