Recounts Confirm 50-50 Split in State House

By Beacon Staff

Recounts held in two contested house district races will leave the state House evenly split with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

A recount Tuesday confirmed that Democrat Cheryl Steenson ousted Republican Rep. Craig Witte of Kalispell.

A two-hour canvass showed Steenson beat Witte by 14 votes. The recount in House District 8 narrowed Steenson’s winning margin from 20 votes.

In Tuesday’s other recount, Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns defeated Democratic challenger Doc Woerner for Laurel’s House District 58. The initial count showed that Kerns and Woerner were separated by 22 votes. The recount showed that Kerns won the seat by 26 votes.