Independent Gary Buchanan appears to qualify for U.S. House race

Gary Buchanan, independent candidate for Montana’s eastern U.S. House District, appears to have the signatures necessary to qualify for the November ballot.

The Montana Secretary of State’s office confirmed Monday afternoon that with hours to go, the longtime public servant and financial advisor from Billings had gathered 14,209 signatures. Buchanan needs 8,722 of those signatures to be confirmed belonging to qualified electors in U.S. House District 2.

U.S. House District 2, which includes, Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Livingston and all points east.

Tuesday was the final day Buchanan signature gatherers could submit petitions to county elections offices. Though Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen will give final certification of petitions by June 6, an initial count by county elections offices suggests Buchanan has 12,506 acceptable signatures so far.

Buchanan said he will wait for Jacobsen’s confirmation before celebrating.

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“My thought is, we’re probably pushing 12,000. I think that by the end of the day we’ll probably have enough signatures to get on the ballot, but I’m not going to claim success until the secretary of state verifies it. But, it’s a pretty optimistic projection,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan was appointed commerce director under Democratic

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