By Joseph T. O’Connor ExploreBigSky.com Editor
Many expected to wait for Presidential election results until early Wednesday morning – and possibly longer with close races in Ohio and Florida. But around 11 p.m. EST, television networks predicted Barack Obama the victor. At 1 a.m. Mitt Romney conceded victory to Obama.
Both Congressional houses retained control by their respective parties, with Republicans holding the House of Representatives and Democrats maintaining control in the Senate.
In Montana, races were hotly contested. At 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, Congressman Dennis Rehberg, a Republican, conceded victory to incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
“The voters of our state have spoken,” Rehberg said in a statement. “And I respect their decision.”
At 9 a.m. Wednesday, Tester led in the polls by about 4,000 votes, or 9 percentage points, with 71 percent of Montana precincts reporting to the Montana Secretary of State (sos.mt.gov).
Tester expected a close race.
“We thought we were gonna be in this situation where the votes were gonna be coming in throughout the night,” he said.
Democrat Steve Bullock defeated Republican Rick Hill 49 percent to 47 percent in Montana’s gubernatorial battle. Tim Fox won the race for state Attorney General, over Pam Bucy’s 46 percent.
Locally, Republican Roger Koopman came back to defeat Democrat John Vincent by less than 2 percent in the race for District 3 Public Service Commissioner. Koopman ended up winning 50.7 percent of the vote to Vincent’s 48.9.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Secretary of State’s office, 91 percent of Montana precincts had fully reported their ballot results.
Visit the Montana Secretary of State’s website for election updates.